Nairobi City Stars’ Odera reveals Gor Mahia regret, AFC Leopards heartbreak

The forward had an unsuccessful stint with K’Ogalo almost 10 years ago and despite emerging as Ingwe’s top scorer recently, he was loaned out

Nairobi City Stars striker Ezekiel Odera has revealed the most regretful moment of his career was when he signed for Gor Mahia in 2011.

After scoring 11 goals for KCB in the Kenyan Premier League (KPL), Odera was signed by the local heavyweights but his stint with the Green Army proved a flop in the end.

“Signing for Gor Mahia in 2011,” Odera told the club’s website when asked of a moment he regrets most in his career.

“Being the young player that I was then, I had a lot of expectations. I guess the pressure was too much for me at that time.

“If I had stayed at KCB for another year at that time, it would have been better for my career.”

In 2017, after scoring another 11 goals but in the Nationals Super League (NSL) for City Stars, AFC Leopards came calling for his services and he obliged.

Although he scored 10 goals for Ingwe, he didn’t last long at the club and was sent to KCB on loan, something he remains sad about.

“[It] has to be when the AFC Leopards management sent me on loan to KCB in 2019 for reasons unknown to me yet I was the club’s top goal scorer. It was heartbreaking for me as a player,” the former Ushuru, Thika United, Sofapaka and Gor Mahai forward said.

Odera further revealed he has already retired from international football.

“It is every player’s dream to play for the national team. I’m happy I had the chance to get a call up to the game against Uganda in 2010 as well as to the Nile Basin squad of early 2011. For now, I have retired from the national football,” he added.

The striker explained how his career started at City Stars, when he was selected by a Gor Mahia great Bobby Ogolla who was in charge of the team.

Odera also stated what attracted him back to the team which he has coincidentally helped regain promotion back to the KPL.

“Nairobi City Stars held trials in 2016 January at Hope Center Grounds in Kawangware. Thereafter, I was picked by the then coach Bobby Ogolla, on a one-year contract,” Odera continued.

“The experience was great and that’s why considering the team for the second time was never in doubt. This is why I signed my second contract with the club in January 2020.

“Reasons for leaving the club in 2017 was because my contract ended and I had to look for new challenges in other teams.

“The experience was good and I enjoyed my journey until my contracts ended.”

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Although the decision to promote City Stars remain contested, they were on the right track in the NSL as they were leading at the time of league cancellation owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

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