Kenyan Premier League giants Gor Mahia have closed a deal with goalkeeper Levis Opiyo who joins them from National Super League (NSL) champions Nairobi City Stars.
Opiyo, 25, who is the latest player to join the reigning KPL champions inked a two-year deal at the club on Wednesday.
He previously featured for Thika United, Western Stima, Posta Rangers and German club Fortuna Babelsberg before his stint in Nairobi City Stars.
A statement by Nairobi City Stars confirmed Opiyo’s departure, indicating that the shot-stopper had left to pursue other interests away from the club after his contract ran out.
Nairobi City Stars coordinator, Samson Otieno, said that although they were hesitant to let him go, the club saw it wise to allow Opiyo to pursue his dream without standing in his way.
“We would have liked to keep him for our Premier League return but he had other plans and we did not want to stand in his way.”
Otieno said that they appreciated the player’s selfless dedication to the club during the entire period he was there. Opiyo joined the side at the start of the concluded season in 2019.
“We thank him for his services and for leading the team back to the topflight at the fourth time of asking,” team coordinator, Samson Otieno said.
The newly crowned NSL champions have now been sent back to the market to shop around for a suitable replacement having been left relying on long-serving custodian Ronald Kagunzi and newly acquired Jacob Osano who penned a deal with them during the January mid-season transfer window.
“With his exit, the Nairobi City Stars club will now shop around for a worthy replacement,” added Otieno.
Opiyo reminisced about his days at City Stars, saying that he was sad to be packing up.
“It is with deep sorrow that I leave Nairobi City Stars because we were like family. I had close friends. But sometimes in football there comes a time you have to move when a good offer comes,” he said.
He thanked his teammates and the management, emphasizing that the current City Stars lead tactician Sanjin Alagic was one of the best in the industry.
“I am happy to have enjoyed my time while at City Stars as it’s a good club with good management, one of the best coach I have ever come across (Sanjin Alagic), unbelievable players who were hungry to win which made it easy to perform each time.
Opiyo said that he was strutting out of the club’s hallway with his head high up after playing a big part in City Stars’ promotion to the KPL.
“I am also happy to have contributed to the team’s promotion and I believe with the combination above the team will do an amazing job in the Premiership.”
He featured in 25 of 27 games and only missed two due to a concussion (Mt Kenya United) and suspension (AP Bomet).
Opiyo has had an impressive run with the club, having been named Player of the month for September 2019, before he went on to scoop Man of the Match accolade twice.
City Stars say they vividly recall Opiyo’s great contribution to the club during league matches. His memorable moments include blocking two spot kicks away to Nairobi Stima and Vihiga United.