NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 16 – AFC Leopards youngster Kaycie Odhiambo says he was ready to quit football after a long-lay off following a nasty knee injury he suffered during an FKF Premier League match in late April.
The 20-year old defender returned to action for the first time in last Monday’s tie against Sofapaka, and says he was grateful to be back after more than seven months on the sidelines.
“I really feel happy and delighted to be back. I was more than joyful just being back on the pitch and doing what I do best. It has been a really trying time for me but seeing myself back on the pitch, I just thank God,” the defender told Capital Sport.
Odhiambo, a fast-rising centreback for Leopards underwent surgery for a knee injury he picked up during a league assignment against Wazito FC.
He had slowly earned his spot in the Leopards backline, coming at a time when the club was short of players and his confidence on and off the ball had began attracting several eyes, and was widely spoken about in several high profile clubs in the country.
But just as his profile was rising, the promise of a massive career was nipped right in the bud, with a nasty injury. At first it looked like a simple injury that would keep him out for a few weeks, but a scan revealed his had damaged his ACL and needed surgery.
“Definitely it was crushing news for me and it became really tough when I had to stay months without recovering and I didn’t see myself getting better. I contemplated quitting football and going back to school so that I start another career,” said the defender, who scored a C+ in his KCSE at St Patrick’s Maringo High School.
He says the encouragement from his teammates and the trust coach Patrick Aussems had with him motivated him to try and work harder for his comeback.
“I was motivated by my teammates who had also undergone knew surgeries like Teddy (Esilaba) and Jaffary (Owiti). They encouraged me every time that it would be okay. They helped me do my recovery and gymwork and I am grateful for their support,” he added.
On his return, he played 75 minutes against Sofapaka and he hopes he can bounce back to the top shape he was in before injury slowed him down.
“I feel great I really feel strong now and I am ready to work harder. The trust of the coach, my teammates and the fans too encourage me to work harder and I hope that this can be my breakthrough season and I can move on to bigger leagues outside Kenya,” noted the defender.