July 25th 2017

Sports / In-Depth

Could Kimani's Saudi move rev local footballers' interest in Middle East?

Notable stars like Jamal Mohamed and Patrick Osiako plied their trade in Israel but returned to Kenya disappointed. Others like George Blackberry Odhiambo and Rama Salim are back at Gor Mahia after a short stint in Armenia and Qatar respectively.

By Cecilia Karanjackaranja@kenyafreepress.comThursday, 09 Feb 2017 10:13 EAT

Kimani practicing with the ball.

Former AFC Leopards' winger Kevin Kimani's move to Saudi Arabian Club Al Hazm SC could open a new chapter for Kenyan footballers. The move by Kimani on a six-month deal is the most high profile by a Kenyan footballer to the Middle East in recent years.

Notable stars like Jamal Mohamed and Patrick Osiako plied their trade in Israel but returned to Kenya disappointed. Others like George Blackberry Odhiambo and Rama Salim are back at Gor Mahia after a short stint in Armenia and Qatar respectively.

Kimani, who had been awarded as the best player of the year 2011, was set to leave the country to join with his new colleagues at Al Hazem, which is based in Ar Rass. The club had tracked Kimani for one year and finally completed his signing on deadline day but had to wait for the completion of his paperwork from Kenya where he had just joined Leopards in a free transfer.

The winger had been signed by Ingwe back in January and left the club without featuring in any competitive match to join the Saudi Arabian Division 1. He previously played for Mathare United as midfielder, Tusker FC, and KCB.

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