Mathare United’s off-season new signing Daniel Van Persie Otieno has been a revelation at the club and head coach Salim Ali has tipped the winger to make a big mark if he continues with his current trajectory.
Otieno joined the slumboyz at the start of the season from Sony Sugar and though he found it hard to get himself into the matchday squad at first, made his debut in the round 4 draw against Kariobangi Sharks and since then has been an integral feature in Salim’s young squad.
An impressive cameo in Mathare’s 2-1 win over Kisumu All Stars in round 6, saw him granted his first start for his new side against Posta Rangers this past Friday where he again impressed with his link-up play and forays forward.
And though a win was not forthcoming for the 2008 KPL champions as they played out a drub 0-0 draw, Salim saw enough positives from his charges going forward including Otieno’s 57 minute performance.
He is quoted on the club’s official portal as saying, “Not being able to get the win is frustrating but at the same time there were plenty of positives. First is that we are able to create opportunities to score. We looked dangerous when we had the ball and all I can ask now is for my strikers to pull up their socks and bury these chances when they arise.
“The second thing is that Van Persie (Otieno) showed that the belief we have in him is not misplaced. He was lively especially in the first half. He has been training hard and will for sure be an important player for us if he keeps up like this.”
Mathare have not been the most potent side this season as they have only managed seven goals in as many matches. And though they remain unbeaten in the campaign, they have been unable to forge out wins with Friday’s draw their fifth and third goalless outcome.
They next faceoff against defending league champions Gor Mahia in a rescheduled round 7 match in Machakos on Wednesday looking to prolong their unbeaten run and add on to their 11 points.