Under new ownership, switch in cities Wazito FC hope for breath of fresh air

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 16 – FKF Premier League side Wazito FC has changed ownership, from Dubai-based businessman Ricardo Badoer to Kisumu tycoon Engineer Joel Odongo and the team, which had initially threatened not to feature in the new season, has some breath of fresh air.

The team has shifted base from Nairobi and will alternate between Kisumu and Muhoroni, with National Super League side Muhoroni Youth owner Moses Adagala also one of the directors at the club.

The playing unit has also drastically changed, with most of the players who featured last season leaving. Among those who have remained include skipper Ellie Asieche, as well as defenders Dennis Sikhayi and Rooney Onyango.

The club has brought in many new players, most from in and around Kisumu. Among others who have joined the team include winger Hansel Ochieng who played for Sofapaka last season as well as former AFC Leopards goalkeeper Ezekiel Owade, who played at Bidco at the end of last season.

Under new ownership, switch in cities Wazito FC hope for breath of fresh air
Jeff Odongo (left) the new Wazito FC head coach. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

The coaching team has also changed and Fred Ambani has exited, with the team now left under the tutelage of his immediate former assistant Jeff Odongo.

They have also brought on board former Tusker FC and Western Stima shotstopper Samwel Odhiambo as the new keeper trainer while Moses Nyalik, also formerly with the defunct Western Stima is the new Team Manager.

“The team is under a new owner. I don’t know much about him but basing on the talks we have had and what he has promised for the team, I think there are better days ahead,” Odongo told Capital Sport.

“The team will be majorly based here in Muhoroni because we have more training facilities compared to Kisumu, but at times we will alternate. Even for our league games, we will play between here and Kisumu,” the tactician added.

Under Badoer’s ownership, the club had released a statement saying they will not be taking part in the new Premier League season, basing their argument on ‘the current confusion in the Kenyan football scene’.

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Under new ownership, switch in cities Wazito FC hope for breath of fresh air
Wazito FC players before their match against Tusker FC in Muhoroni. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

But with a change of ownership, the team, albeit late, is now hard at work to prepare for the new season.

On Thursday, they played a friendly match against league champions Tusker FC at the Muhoroni complex, losing 2-0 with goals from Shaphan Oyugi and their former striker Eric Otieno.

Coach Odongo says he was happy with how his team fared, saying it was just their second week of pre-season training after relocating from Nairobi.

“Tusker have been in pre-season for almost seven weeks now while for us, we were just getting started. This is a good place to start from and I think I have a good team. We will keep improving as we go,” he noted.

The side is set to play Kakamega Homeboyz over the weekend before facing Nzoia Sugar, two matches that the tactician believes will help him prepare for the season, with uncertainty still surrounding the start date.

Under new ownership, switch in cities Wazito FC hope for breath of fresh air
Wazito’s Dennis Sikhayi and new signing Francis Omondi try to stop Tusker’s Shami Mwinyi during their friendly match in Muhoroni. Wazito FC players before their match against TUsker FC in Muhoroni. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

“We will be ready for the season. Despite the fact that it is almost a new team, I believe we will be ready. We have some experienced players in the team and we will gel with time. These next two friendly matches will be good for us,” he added.

Meanwhile, he has asked the club’s Nairobi-based fans to continue supporting the team despite the fact that they have shifted base.

“We are still Wazito and some players have remained so hopefully they keep supporting us,” he said.

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