Blow as Butali head to Police clash without top scorer Mutira

In Summary

• Mutira is suspended for the clash after accumulating four green cards and coach Denis Owoka is hoping that the rest of the attackers will fit into the shoes of the seven-goal man.

• The suspension is unfortunate but it is time for Kanu to lift the team past a stubborn Police side — Owoka.

Butali players celebrate during a recent KHU league match
Butali players celebrate during a recent KHU league match
Image: /FILE

Kenya Hockey Union Premier League champions Butali Warriors will make do without their top scorer, George Mutira, when they clash with Kenya Police in what looks like a title-decider on Sunday.

Mutira is suspended for the clash after accumulating four green cards and coach Denis Owoka is hoping that the rest of the attackers will fit into the shoes of the seven-goal man.

Signed last season from Sailors after bagging over 30 goals for three seasons, Mutira was sensational as Butali won their fourth title last season. He won the top scorers gong with 23 goals.

The prospect of missing the crucial match comes at the wrong time for both the striker and his club. Known for his levelheadedness, electric movements and game-changing exploits, Mutira is central to Butali’s success but an acid test awaits Owoka’s troops in his absentia.

However, Owoka will have a wealth of attacking talent to call upon. Amos Barkibir and Calvins ‘Kanu’ Omondi are ready to bounce and haunt their former employers. Signed at the beginning of the season, their moves understandably, made waves and fuelled the flames of the law enforcers long-running rivalry with the sugarmen but the duo are ready to set records straight.

Owoka remains upbeat on his team’s chances and refused to be drawn far about the title.

He said: “Mutira is a very important forward and its a pity we are preparing for life without him. The suspension is unfortunate but it is time for Kanu to lift the team past a stubborn Police side. It is always a tricky fixture. When you play your former side chances are you are too good or you have an off day.”

“Kanu has gelled well with the team. He was a little shy initially but he is good to go now. Remember his transfer was a bit chaotic because, for weeks, Police were silent on the deal, which left him unsettled. However, his confidence is back and he feels this is his big game to inflict damage on his former side.”

Mutira added: “It is saddening not to be involved but I trust the strikers we have to wrap up the three points.”

Kanu and Barkibir have four goals each while Moses Ademba and Constance Wakhura are on three. Frank Wanangwe and Francis Kariuki have struck a brace each while Barnabas Odhiambo has contributed one goal towards Butali’s campaign to retain the title.