Willis Obayi: Sofapaka appoint former captain as Mururi successor

Goal Kenya.

Football Kenya Federation Premier League side Sofapaka have appointed Willis Obayi as the new assistant head coach.

Obayi is taking over the mantle from John Mururi, who parted ways with the 2009 Premier League champions in the recent past. The new assistant coach, who will be working under Ken Odhiambo, was serving Batoto ba Mungu as the captain before his new appointment.

"Sofapaka Football Club can confirm Willis Obayi new assistant club head coach," the club announced. "Obayi who has been serving as the club captain has been elevated to coaching capacity and will assist head coach Ken Odhiambo."

Obayi welcomed his elevation and said it would be a privilege to serve the club in the new capacity: "It’s such an honour to be elevated to such a position by the club's management. It clearly shows they have confidence and trust me to assist and lead," he said.

"I am still coming to terms with it. It’s such a privilege indeed, to be honest. This a new capacity that I am to grow and become better. It’s equally an opportunity to transit and when such opportunity come your way, you only have to step up, learn and grow and that’s what I am aiming at moving forward."

Obayi also explained what the appointment means for his career as he remains a registered player for the 2020/21 season.

"Well, I still feel I have some energy left to go, currently I am eligible to play in the current season and if the need arises to help out then I will step up and give my best on the pitch," he added.

Meanwhile, coach Odhiambo explained why he settled on the player to be his principal assistant.

"When need rose to fill the void, I felt there was no need to shop outside but groom one from within and upon carefully looking into all available options we settled on Obayi," the former Bandari head coach said.

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"He has been incredible all through, he has vast experience plus he’s been a leader, aspects that only need to be natured. I have been keen on him, he has traits of a leader and one honest assurance is Obayi will make a good coach in future."

Obayi has been an active player for over a decade, having played for Sony Sugar, Chemelil Sugar and Sofapaka.

Mururi's exit is the latest high-profile departure at Batoto ba Mungu after former player and head coach John Baraza left after the 3-0 loss to AFC Leopards. Recently, captain Ellie Asieche exited and immediately joined FKF Premier league rivals Wazito FC.