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Otieno: KPL can’t match Zambian league standards

Monday, April 20th, 2020 00:00 | By
Sofapaka striker Umaru Kasumb (left) battles for the ball with former AFC Leopards defender Duncan Otieno during a past FKF Cup match. ABOVE: Otieno playing for Zambian side Nkana FC. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

Vincent Voiyoh

Nkana FC midfielder Duncan Otieno has openly expressed his love for his former side AFC Leopards despite ditching them for the Zambian Premier League side in 2018.

The former Ingwe captain says he cherishes the KPL club that gave him a chance to develop his career fresh from high school.

“I really miss AFC Leopards. It is still close to my heart. It was an honour to captain AFC. The fans were just amazing and friendly.

I did not leave in bad faith but I needed a new challenge and I think I have achieved that,” he told Milele FM at the weekend.

He has, however, praised his new home Nkana, claiming the Zambian league is better than KPL in various aspects such as marketing, player welfare, playing grounds and general organisation.

“Kenya Premier League levels have gone down especially after the title sponsor (SportPesa) left.

Most players are suffering because they are not well catered for by their teams.

That for sure lowers the competitiveness of the top tier. A good number of players want to force moves from the local league,” he added. 

He went on: “In Zambia, things are a bit different. The league has a title and broadcast sponsor. The league is top-notch also because of prize money.” 

The 25-year-old defensive midfielder left Leopards in October 2018 to join the likes of Jesse Were, David ‘Calabar’  Owino and Ian Otieno for paid ranks in Zambia.

Nkana FC is also home to Kenya’s Duke Abuya, Harun Shakava and Mussa Mohammed who is the captain.

“I am faring well in Zambia. At first, it was challenging but now I am ok. I live in the same house with Duke and Harun.

Musa stays alone because he has a family. We have a nice bond that help us to be better on and off the pitch,” said Otieno. 

The former Chavakali High School ace says he is pushing himself more so as to achieve his goals of plying his trade in Europe.

“This is my first experience as a player abroad. Signing a contract in Zambia was not easy but I had to work extra hard to give a good show.

It is more difficult when you are a foreigner in a place where the natives are equally gifted.

I have managed to feature in almost every game this season and with such exposure, I am certain of better things ahead as I pursue my dream of moving to Europe,” he said. 

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