Former AFC Leopards duo Ian Otieno and Andrew Tololwa are the latest in a swelling list of Kenyan footballers to relocate to Zambia in search of greener pastures.
These two are part of 12 new players, six of whom are foreigners, signed by Red Arrows in an announcement made via the team’s official Facebook page.
Other new players joining Red Arrows include Ugandan striker Samuel Ssekamate and Ghanaian midfielder Daniel Adoko. Consequently, the new players are set to replace 10 local based players who will be loaned out.
Former Zambia national team coach Honour Janza, who currently is in charge of the Lusaka based outfit, praised Otieno and Tololwa, adding he was certain the two players will improve on the team’s 10th place finish in last season’s FAZ Zambia MTN league.
“This is the first time we are engaging foreigners and I made a decision to personally look at each one of them to assess what they can offer us because we are looking to perform better in the league this year,” said Janza.
Meanwhile, Leopards have yet again missed out on receiving potential six-figure payments in form of transfer fees for these two players who were let go on free transfers last November having been deemed not good enough by coach Robert Matano.
Thus, Otieno and Tololwa join compatriots Jesse Were, Anthony Akumu and David Owino who all play for champions Zesco United, Clifton Miheso and John Makwatta (Buildcon) and Ismail Dunga (Napsa Stars) in the Zambian league.
Kenyan footballers, frustrated by relatively low and delayed salaries, have found Zambia a fertile ground for the growth of their career.
Players in Zambia pocket upto Sh400,000 a month on average, about Sh150,000 more than what the highest paid player in the Kenyan Premier League earns.
Clubs in Zambia also offer foreign players free accommodation and a comprehensive medical cover, utilities that are almost unheard of in Kenya.