Thika’s ‘Soldier Boy’ dumps the gun for boots.

LG Electronics General Marketing Manager Moses Marji presents Ulinzi’s Stephen Waruru his award of SJAK Player of the Month for April 2017 as former Royal Media Services Sports Editor Mutwiri Mutuota .
Stephen Waruru has signed a one-year contract with 2009 champions Sofapaka after a nine-year stint at Ulinzi.

Ulinzi’s top scorer last season with 11 goals snubbed an earlier opportunity to join 11-time champions Tusker FC calling it a day on his military career.

The ace striker hit media waves early this month when he revealed that he was trading the gun for the boot, and his transfer to ‘Batoto Ba Mungu’ has finally put an end to his transfer saga.

Waruru says he believes the move to Sofapaka was the right one even as he looks to win more team and individual titles. He fell out with his former club after he found less play time towards the end of the campaign.

Sofapaka finished second behind the champion, Gor Mahia in the just ended Kenyan Premier League season.

Waruru said that he opted to change careers by resigning from the Kenya Defence Forces, ending what has been a modest career with the military outfit.

Waruru aims at being the league’s top scorer once more and also winning a trophy with Sofapaka.

“I left because I wanted a normal life. I think it is a pretty good move for me. I picked on Sofapaka because of the platform the club offers. They are ambitious and want to win trophies next season and I think their targets align with mine,” said Waruru.

The eight years at Ulinzi have seen him win the league once, on his maiden year in 2010, the KPL Top 8 Cup in 2011 and clinch the Golden Boot Award in 2012, then finishing third in 2017.

“I want to be top scorer again, but first I will have to learn and adapt to my new team and their style of play,” he said.

“They have been the best years in my life. With Ulinzi I have seen the world. I have traveled to many different countries both playing football and in my career as a soldier and I don’t regret. I want to thank all the players I have played with in my career there because they have played a part in shaping my career,” the former Thika United man added.

He believes that he would have scored more goals this season if Ulinzi had offered him more playing time.

The move is a blow to Ulinzi as their other striker, Samuel Onyango, is on the brink of sealing a deal with record 16-time Kenyan Premier League champions, Gor Mahia. The two attackers combined to score 17 goals between them in the ended campaign, as Ulinzi finished seventh on the log on 48 points.

This will be the second time the soldiers are losing a marquee talent after several years of service in the army. Last season, top scorer John Mark Makwatta ditched them for Zambian outfit Buildcon FC.
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