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Former Harambee Stars tactician reacts to Odhiambo’s exit from Tanzania's Azam saying he ventured into playing professional football before maturing

Sony Sugar head coach Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno insists Azam FC misfit George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo should have stayed in the local league longer before venturing into playing in the paid ranks.

Otieno, who coached the player at Gor Mahia, believes the 2010 KPL Player of Year has a lot of potential but “he should have featured in the local league for longer period to mature before deciding otherwise.”

“I do not doubt his (Odhiambo) talent. He was a good player that would have gone places .The problem is that local players rush to join the paid ranks before maturing,” Otieno told Kenya.

“In football we have stages and most of the players in the Kenyan league are in the development stage, so when they join teams in Europe, they find it hard to break into the first eleven thus becoming frustrated.”

Otieno, who coached the player at the national team Harambee Stars, was reacting to reports that the utility midfielder has been kicked out by Tanzanian side Azam FC barely three months after joining, for allegedly absconding duty for six consecutive days.

According to Tanzanian press he has since joined Mtibwa FC.

Odhiambo was a revelation at Gor helping the club to second position in the KPL league behind eventual winners Ulinzi Stars in the 2010 season and was voted KPL player of the year.

He later joined Danish cub Randers FC on a four year deal but fell out with the club, leading to the cancellation of his contract on mutual agreement before he joined Azam early this year.