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Maelo: Sofapaka defender and captain calls it a day, hangs up boots

The former Police FC player has officially announced his retirement from football after a career spanning over 17 years

Sofapaka defender George Maelo has officially announced his retirement from football.

The 36-year-old player has decided to call it a day after 17 years of active football which saw him also play for Police FC.

Sofapaka have confirmed the decision by the player to quit on their official website by stating: “Captain George Maelo has officially retired from active football.

“Club captain Maelo has finally called it a day from football after 17 years in the game. Maelo joined the club from Police FC in July 2016 and went on to serve the club for four years.

On quitting, Maelo said: “I’m so happy and proud of what God has done to me with my talent, all the years of my career I didn’t encounter any serious injury, and when fully fit I managed to play a junk of the matches. As a leader, I did my best on and off the pitch for the betterment of the team.

“Football has built me as a person and taught me a lot about life. At Sofapaka I found a second family where unity and love prevail. The club forms and holds a huge part of me, the trust from the management and everyone in the team meant a lot. I love Sofapaka family and I wish the team the very best.”

On his part coach John Baraza lauded the defender for his leadership and commitment and wished him well in his future endeavours.

“Maelo has been so outstanding since he joined us, he came in when we were battling relegation and during our tough times as a team he did a lot in supporting the club,” Baraza said.

“He’s so selfless, hardworking and so disciplined, he made work easier for us as a technical bench. He’s definitely headed for greatness in life and as a team, we wish him success.

“As a way of appreciating his good deeds, the club has appointed Maelo as head of security.”

His decision to quit comes just a day after the club confirmed Elli Asieche as the captain for the forthcoming 2020/21 Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League campaign.

“Head coach John Baraza has confirmed midfielder Elli Asieche is the new club captain,” Sofapaka confirmed on their official portal on Monday.

“Asieche, who has been with the club for the past three years since his return, will captain the team beginning the 2020/21 season. He takes over from immediate former club captain George Maelo.”

The 29-year-old has promised to help the Nairobi-based team go in the right direction after he was trusted with the leadership role.

“I am happy for this new capacity and challenge, it shows a lot of trust and faith in me, from the head coach and the entire team. I look forward to leading and helping the club in the right way,” Asieche stated after his confirmation.

Baraza also appointed Willis Obayi and Michael Kibwage as first and second assistant captains, respectively.

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