By Reuben Olita
OPET FC from Busia County which is participating in Football Kenya Federation Division Two League may lose seven players to Kenya Premier League clubs Tusker FC and AFC Leopards Sports Club.
Four OPET FC players who may be joining KPL League leaders Tusker FC, Samuel Etyang, Osman Abdalla, Kevin Oruko Papai and Branton Wafula.
Western Regional League runnerway leaders, Obucuun Border are also likely to lose two players to Leopards and Nairobi City Stars, the first time that scouts have been attracted to the county since the era of JJ Masiga, Noah Wanyama and Wilberforce Mulamba in the 1980s, among others who hail from the county.
Striker Ivan Onyango may be headed to AFC Leopards with Raymond Otieno set to join Nairobi City Stars which is under the tutelage of Nicholas Muyoti from Nambale in Busia Sub County, former Kakamega Homeboyz coach.
The seven were identified by scouts from the three clubs whose officials camped in Busia during the Global Appeal Football Tournament that drew teams from across the county and which was sponsored by Global Appeal Sports co-sponsored by Busia women representative, Hon Catherine Omanyo.
OPET FC patron, Fidelis Opeto confirmed on Friday that scouts from two clubs featuring in top tier league have approached seven of his players with a view to signing them in the coming league season.
The patron said Tusker are keen on signing four of his first eleven players. They include stopper Osman Abdalla, strikers Kevin Oruko Papai, centre forward, Samuel Etyang and stopper, Osman Abdalla.
AFC Leopards are also chasing the signatures of holding midfielder and captain, Brian Asimeri, goalkeeper, Ishaaque Okuka and striker, Adam Omedo.
“We are currently leading in Division Two League in our zone. Should the tide go against us we will have no alternative but to release them and reorganise ourselves by filling the gap,” he said, noting that their main target is to nurture talents and encourage more players to seek for greener pastures locally or internationally,” he said.
Revealing whey he opted to sacrifice his little resources to form OPET FC, Mr Opeto said many youths who had talents in his locality approached him to help him nurture their talents to enable them pursue their football careers to their top echelon.
“I had no option but to form the club which has now taken the region by storm. This was also attributed to the fact that I love football and the boys have passion for the game” he said.
OPET which were pre-tournament favourites lost 1-0 to eventual winners Jobless FC from the sprawling Marachi estate in a pulsetting semi-final encounter at Busia County Stadium.
He attributed the team’s loss to fatique which saw them play five matches in three days including their Division Two encounter away to Lumakanda which they won 2-0 to consolidate their lead at the top of the log.
However, the patron said all is not lost in their bid to secure a straight ticket to Division One by intensifying training under head coach Joseph Otieno, ” he said, telling club fans that although they lost to Jobless they were a force to reckon with but lady luck failed to smile on them.
Tusker coach Robert Matano said the four players will undergo trials at the end of the season with back to back KPL winners and chasing for the third straight title as they are currently on top of the log; Matano was Hakati Sortiff, AFC Leopards and Harambee Stars player before venturing into coaching.
“I was born a winner and cultivated the culture of a winner through hardwork and passion. I grew up through Nakuru Youth Olympic Centre and later played for Abeingo FC. This saw me groom many players who turned the fortunes of the country, ” he said, urging the youths to embrace the culture of discipline and commitment to excel in sporting careers of their choices.
Chairman Global Appeal Sports, Yusuf Noah said by Involving three clubs from three top tier league it was success on their side, noting that during regionals to be hosted by Busia in July they will invite more Kenya Premier League teams and scouts from Crystall Palace, University of Baltimore, Finland and South Africa, adding that they want to change the tlstatus of football in the country.
AFC Leopards officials who came to scout for new talents in Busia which is the gateway to East and Central Africa included team manager, Albert Wesonga and Chief Executive Officer, Victor Bwibo
FKF Busia Branch chairman, Hillary Musundi thanked Global Appeal Sports and Busia Women Representative, Hon Catherine Omanyo for honouring Busia with the tournament, noting that it will go alongway in nurturing talents that abound in the county.