The club’s chief stated disciplinary matters and the arrival of Lawrence Juma are among the issues that forced the midfielder out
Sofapaka president Elly Kalekwa has detailed a chronology of events that led to the exit of captain Ellie Asieche.
According to Kalekwa, Asieche and new head coach Ken Odhiambo were not seeing eye to eye over substitutions that the coach made against Nairobi City Stars and Vihiga United.
“We have played a number of games and we have won without Ellie,” Kalekwa told Goal.
“There is a time he was substituted against Nairobi City Stars in Wundanyi and he got angry because he has been used to being handled softly. Now we have a coach who is not ready to handle him like that anymore.
“The coach told him he took the decision for he was not playing well, he was really struggling and Asieche’s attitude was not good according to the coach.
“Even against Vihiga United, he was not playing at the highest level we are used to and he was substituted again. When he was withdrawn, he did not sit with the rest at the bench as he left and sat behind the bus and the coach was infuriated with his behaviour again.
“After the game, the coach called him aside for a talk and he was straight that he will be let go, or if he stays Odhiambo was ready to leave him.
“The coach and the other players were angry and some even told him he was not deserving to be the captain. He, however, apologised later and it is at that point that I got the report around his attitude and behaviour.”
Kalekwa stated he had to stand with Odhiambo as what the midfielder did amounted to disrespect which cannot be tolerated at Batoto ba Mungu.
“I was categorical and I told him I am not going to keep a bad seed with good seeds,” he added. “If he disrespected the coach that means it is me who he disrespected.
“At that point, I ordered the coach to make a decision. Although he called me later giving the side of his story I told him the decision belongs to the coach and he does what he feels is good for the team.
“Asieche insisted that he wanted no more confrontation with the coach and asked for his release letter. There was no way I was going to keep a player who is indisciplined because there is nothing he can offer to the team.
“That should be a lesson to any player. No one should disrespect the coach and remain at Sofapaka. If there was a team he was targeting to join, fine, but he should not disrespect other players and the coach.”
The club’s top official also stated the arrival of Lawrence Juma from Gor Mahia contributed to the exit of the former KCB and Kariobangi Sharks star.
“Juma is a good player and Asieche did not like competition and by the way you cannot compare Juma and Ellie. Never. You cannot compare anyone with Juma,” Kalekwa concluded.
“He feared Juma and he was not ready for competition. That is simple. But you, if he wanted to play and kept his level, the coach could rotate him because there was a way the coach could have fielded the two of them at the same time.”
Asieche was among the new players confirmed at Wazito FC on Wednesday.