The truth is when Patilla Omotto is not playing, Kariobangi Sharks are like fish out of the water.
That was true on Saturday when they ended on the losing side of a five-goal thriller against KCB and it has been so for much of the second leg since Omoto, their inspirational skipper among a host of other influential players, were out with injury.
Now back on the recovery trail, Omotto was thrilled to be called up to the preliminary Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) squad by Harambee Stars coach Sebastian Migne.
It was a mark of faith from the Frenchman because prior to him naming the squad, Omotto had not been in competitive action for close to a month.
“It’s always inspiring to be called up the national team and am happy and ready to repay the faith the coaches have shown in me once again,” said Omotto.
At 26, Omotto is one of the more experienced players in that team, surprisingly having first featured for Stars in 2012 when he was a shock inclusion in the CECAFA squad that finished second in Uganda.
“I have always had belief in myself, trying to play my game and helping my team win and then leave everything else to the selectors who know best what they want to achieve for the squad,” he remarked. Omotto has been in a relationship with Mary Wanjiru, a former lower league footballer for the last eight years and they have been blessed with two children, Wesley Omutiti and baby girl— Mylaha Awinja, who was born earlier this year.
“Family is very important particularly for sportsmen as it gives them stability in life and it helps them get focused on their careers and avoid any distractive tendencies,” he stated.
Despite being a teetotaler, Omotto recently made some notable investment by opening up a pub in his native Kariobangi, called the Truth. With his busy schedule for club and country, his sisters manage the joint.
“Investing when you are still active is something that we footballers must learn from, say, athletes. Football is a short career and if you have nothing to fall back to when you retire, it can be pretty depressing for your family and those who relied on you when you were still active,” he said.
Omotto was cut for a career in football even when he was barely a teenager, making his first trip outside the country when he represented Kenya in the Chrisc tournament that was held in Tanzania in 2003. A year later, he would be in the under-13 squad of MYSA that featured in the Norway Cup and from then on, it was inevitable that he would play football in the top flight league, something that has made his dad Aggrey Omutiti a very proud man.
Omotto still habours hopes of playing abroad but his biggest dream would be to win the Kenyan Premier League with his beloved Sharks, having recently lifted the GOTV Shield and Sportpesa Super Cup that earned them the right to play Everton at Kasarani in July.