Ulinzi’s Waruru dedicates award to team mates and peace keeping forces

By alex wafula
Jun 22, 2017
  • Stephen Waruru acknowledged by his colleagues after he was named as the top player in the KPL in April. (Photo by Alex Wafula)

Ulinzi Stars striker Stephen Waruru on Thursday received his belated April Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK)/SportPesa player of the month award.

Waruru announced his return to the Kenyan Premier League with a bang in April after being out for two seasons.The 2012 Golden Boot winner was on military duty.

On his first match for the soldiers, Waruru came in after the 70th minute and barely 20 seconds on the pitch banged his first goal for Ulinzi.

He went on to score a brace against Mathare United before capping off with a point winning goal against Western Stima.

The Ulinzi Striker has since gone on to bang eight goals and is the current KPL top scorer.

Waruru endured a tough run off against Posta Rangers shot stopper Patrick Matasi in the final vote tally by the SJAK football committee. He edged out Matasi by a single vote to become Ulinzi’s second ever winner of the award.

Last season, John Mark Makwatta who went on to win the golden boot was rewarded.

“I feel very happy because April was my first month back in the league and on the first match I scored and now I win an award for that month. I think it spells good things for me to come. This is the product of hard work and I thank my teammates and the technical bench for the support,” the soft spoken military man noted.

In a rare gesture befitting his humility, Waweru not only dedicated the award to his teammates and coaches but also his family and most importantly, the soldiers he left behind in peace keeping missions in Somalia and Sudan.

“They have sacrificed a lot for the nations and I know it is not easy being away. I dedicate this to them,” Waruru who spent almost two years in peace keeping in South Sudan said.

Eyes on the golden boot

The striker has set his eyes on bagging the golden boot with his return of eight goals in 11 matches giving him confidence that he can surpass his best scoring rate of 12 goals in 28 matches in 2012.

Though he has not put a specific figure in terms of targets, Waruru has promised he will be on the podium to pick the golden boot. This will be a second consecutive time that the military side known best for its defense just like their name Ulinzi will provide the league’s best scorer.

Waruru said it wasn’t easy getting back to tip top form especially after spending a considerable amount of time in service to the country on his first call as a soldier. He narrated how much hard work it took in training to see him get back to scoring.

Apart from winning the golden boot, Waruru is eying an opportunity of landing the league title with Ulinzi for a second time after doing so in 2010.

“Though the spirit is the same, I see more drive in this squad. We are a group of young players who are very ambitious and I am sure this generation of players will do great things not only for this season but the coming ones as well. There is so much competition in the team ad that is what drives us,” he added.

Apart from a trophy engraved with his name, Waruru received a 49-inch LG Television, Sh100,000 from sponsors SportPesa and a further Sh50,000 for his teammates.