Kakamega Homeboyz coach Nicholas Muyoti says it is 'sad and discouraging' to lose a player like Peter Thiong'o who is heading to AFC Leopards.
The winger was a vital player for the Western-based side and managed to score eight goals as they finished second in the abandoned 2019/20 Kenyan Premier League (KPL) season. However, his contract with the team will expire in October and the player has a two-year pre-contract agreement with Leopards.
"As a coach, you need all your best players when planning for the new season," Muyoti told Goal on Tuesday.
"It is sad and discouraging to lose Thiong'o who has been a very important player for the team. He played a great role for us last season, and his presence in the new campaign would have been vital for us.
"It is disappointing to lose him, but again we have nothing to do but accept and see how to fill his void."
The tactician has also conceded Homeboyz made a mistake by not initiating talks to extend his stay early.
"We slept on our job; with six or so months remaining on his contract, we could have started re-negotiating a new deal," Muyoti continued.
"It would have given us time to plan life with him or without him. We did not do our homework early and we have paid the price. It is a lesson and next time around, we will have to ensure it does not happen.
"We will now have to go into the market and get his replacement and hope he is effective to the team."
The former Kenya international has wished his former player all the best hoping he will be successful in his new team.
"Thiong'o has been with us for two seasons, he is a great player and I wish him the best.
"Sometimes, you cannot judge a player for the decisions he makes since there are many factors involved. He has served us well during his time with us and has been a dedicated member of the team.
"It is painful seeing him leave, but I hope he will continue developing and hit greater heights."