|Arthur Otieno - Photo courtesy of Futaa.com|
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has appointed Arthur Otieno Apiyo as the coach who will lead the Kenya COPA Coca-Cola U17 players to the international camp in South Africa this coming Tuesday.
Apiyo who was one of the three talent scouts involved in selecting the players during COPA national finals in Mombasa beat his compatriot Atanasi Wamalwa to the position. The former Real Kisumu and Congo United coach has expressed confidence that the team will do well in the Pretoria-based boot camp. “It’s my pleasure that I have gotten the opportunity to work with these players even in the short term,” said the former Chemelil player. “I know them from the COPA national finals and am looking forward to working with them in South Africa,” he said.
FKF technical director Edwin Mukolwe said they arrived at the decision due to Apiyo’s illustrious experience working with young players. “He’s one of our most qualified youthful coaches who really knows how to get the best out of young players,” said Mukowle. “He has worked with young footballers at Real Kisumu and continues to do so with Kisumu Youth Football Association so this won’t be any difficult,” noted Mukolwe.
Arthur who acquired a UEFA ‘B’ license in 2009 in Zeist Holland has a coaching career spanning over a decade. During his early years in coaching, he helped take Kisumu Boys High school to schools’ provincial finals where they lost out to St. Marks.
The 38-year-old served as the coach of the now defunct Panpaper FC in 2007 before linking up with Western Stima as a trainer in 2008. He then joined Kisumu’s Ring Road FC as head coach in 2009 before moving to Congo United, then at Nationwide in 2010. It was at the Coast-based club that Apiyo recruited Gor Mahia sensation Rama Salim and Ulinzi forward Wycliffe Ochomo who helped the club gain promotion to the premier league.
Arthur was the head coach or Real Kisumu FC who were relegated from the Nationwide League last year. He took over the team at a time when they had gathered a paltry 2 points from 9 games but his magic could not save the team from relegation as they finished the season with only 27 points.
He has been involved in grassroots football since then coaching young players and also helping impart technical skills on local coaches.
He has also co-instructed four basic football courses in South Africa with Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) while working with Kisumu Youth Football Association (KYFA).
Apiyo joined Chemelil youth team in 1991 after clearing high school at Nairobi School where he was the football captain. He earned his call-up to the Chemelil senior team in 1994 when the team was at provincial league and helped the team move up the ranks and into the premier league in 1997.
The former defender left the club the following year and after trying out his luck in business, he was snapped up by Ugandan side Kakira Sugar as a free agent. The club which was being coached by former Gor Mahia player Timothy Ayieko was relegated from the Ugandan premier league. Apiyo joined Nile Brewers but it was not long before he returned home where he took over the reigns at Chemelil Youth team christened ‘Guza Guza’ where he began his coaching career.
Some of the renowned players he has coached include Sher Karuturi’s anchorman Kevin Omondi, Thika United U20 star Vincent Otieno, Oserian defender Zach Omukhula, Gor Mahia’s Victor Ali, Muhoroni Youth utility player Dan Odhiambo Wigwa and Bidco United captain Duncan Ochieng’ among others.
Apiyo and the 16 players will depart to Pretoria, South Africa on Tuesday August 28th to join other 134 players from around sub-Saharan Africa at the international camp. The players will be coached by five special Chelsea coaches from Chelsea Football Club during the 12-day boot camp which will end on September 8th.
“I am ready to work with the Chelsea coaches at the camp and I’ll use it as a learning experience. You are simply never good enough to stop learning from each other,” said Apiyo.
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