KDF-bound Muchiri pays glowing tribute to Matano
Departing Tusker attacker Boniface Muchiri has described veteran tactician Robert Matano as the pillar of his football career.
Muchiri, 25, is this week expected to join the Eldoret’s Recruit Training School of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), and upon completion of his military training, he will turn out for Ulinzi Stars.
The Harambee Stars striker’s last match for the brewers was Sunday’s barren draw with Sofapaka at Ruaraka grounds in Nairobi. He has been with Tusker since June 2017.
And to thank him for his exemplary, five-year service to the 13-time champions, just before the match kicked-off, Muchiri was honoured with an applause by Tusker’s players, technical bench and a handful of supporters who were at the stadium for the clash.
Coach Matano then presented him with Tusker’s yellow jersey that was signed by his teammates and had his name and jersey number (seven) printed behind it.
Matano then bid him farewell with a pat on the back, before they posed for photos together with captain Eugene Asike and other members of the technical bench.
Speaking to Nation Sport after the match, Muchiri paid tribute to Tusker and coach Matano for shaping him into the person he is today.
“It is sad that I will not be with Tusker again. It is a team I have been with for a long time that it has become like a family to me,” said an emotional Muchiri.
“Tusker has moulded me into who I am today. When it comes to football matters, I thank coach Matano because he has built me both physically and mentally.
“He has shown me how to play football for business and titles. I am so happy to have played under him because he has also been like a parent to me. Apart from football, he would create time just to give us life tips. He is a man that if you listen too then you can achieve a lot in life,” added Muchiri.
The left-footed winger, who joined Tusker in June 2017 on a three-year deal from Sony Sugar, is one of the brewers longest serving players.
The rest are Eugene Asike, Humphrey Mieno and Jackson Macharia. In 2018 and 2019, Muchiri emerged Tusker’s top scorer with 13 and 14 goals respectively.
But it is Tusker’s victory in the 2020/21 Football Kenya Federation Premier League and 2021 Super Cup that he singled out as his best moments with the club.
Tusker lifted the 2020/21 FKF-PL title with 65 points and Muchiri was instrumental in that achievement.
He also captained the side in their 8-7 Super Cup victory over giants Gor Mahia in post-match penalties after a 1-1 draw at Thika Stadium in Kiambu on September 22.
“I am happy I gave 100 percent while with the team. There were times of lows and ups, but I am grateful for everything that we achieved,” said Muchiri, who also featured for Kenya Under-20.
He said his decision to ditch the brewers for Ulinzi was occasioned by the need to plan for life after football.
“Football is a short career while for some of us, we are responsible for taking care of our parents and siblings back at home. This calls for planning well and if KDF comes and promises you a job if you play for them, it is an offer you cannot turn down. There are many benefits you will get there, so it is a decision I did not hesitate in making,” he said.
On his part, coach Matano said Muchiri was like his son and wished him all the best in his new endeavor.
“It is an emotional moment for me because I brought him into the team and we have been together since then. He is like a son to me and I understood his decision to leave because you have to plan ahead. I wish him all the best,” said the veteran tactician.