•Incidentally, City Stars’ promotion that was confirmed by FKF, is the second time Otieno is part of a promoted team after leading Kariobangi Sharks to Kenya Premier League at the close of the 2016 campaign.
•"There is a lot to come from the club and I want to be a part of it,” —Otieno
Nairobi City Stars defender Wycliffe Otieno has touted his defensive partnership with Salim Abdalla as pivotal in the Kawangware’s side return to the top tier league.
Incidentally, City Stars’ promotion that was confirmed by Football Kenya Federation, is the second time Otieno is part of a promoted team after leading Kariobangi Sharks to Kenya Premier League at the close of the 2016 campaign.
“It’s a good partnership. I have a good relationship with Salim on and off the pitch. We learn a lot from each other and complement each other well. But we also have well able centre backs in (Edwin) Buliba and Teddy (Esilaba) who are constantly pushing for a starting berth at the heart of the defence. We benefit a lot from this competition as there’s no room for complacency. I believe the four of us can play in any pairing and it would still be a decent partnership,” Otieno said of their defensive partnership christened ‘The Wall of Nairobi’.
In a wide-ranging interview, Otieno who joined City Stars mid last year after an injury-enforced break thanked the coach and the club’s board for their belief in his ability.
“I sat out for a whole season undergoing rehabilitation. Thank God it was a short season. But it was a very tough time for me. Working alone is very difficult especially for us footballers as we are used to a team set up and working in a group all the time,” he said on the club officials portal.
The soft-spoken beard-wearing defender added: “Thankfully, City Stars had faith in me and gave me an opportunity even though I wasn’t even at 100 per cent when I joined. The coach (Sanjin Alagic) was patient with me. This is something I am very grateful for.”
The defender is poised to remain in Kawangware when football resumes after extending his contract in January.
“I opted to extend my stay at the club because of the progress of the project and I also feel that I’m growing. There is a lot to come from the club and I want to be a part of it,” he explained.