Mike Friday, the new national sevens team said he has everything needed to take Kenya back to her glorious days in the international competitions like the International Rugby Board, IRB Sevens Series.
Friday who was officially unveiled by the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) as the head coach promised to work together with his technical bench to deliver the results.
He took over from Mitch Ocholla who was fired together with his technical bench after a low key performance poor last season.
“It’s a great honor for me to coach the Kenyan national team. We will work together to try and bring the maximum potential in the squad as we try to post some good results,” said Friday, a former England coach.
Craig White who was seconded by the International Rugby Board to Kenya skipped the press briefing even though he attended the team’s training on Friday morning at Kasarani.
Friday added, “we are in a journey to prepare a Kenyan national team that is consistent in its performance in the World Series.”
Friday who signed a two year contract with the union will be assisted by his predecessor Ocholla and New Zealander Chris Brown, a strength and conditioning coach.
Felix Ochieng, a contemporary of Friday was retained as the team analyst. Steve Sewe is the team Manager. Friday also revealed his training programme for the 43 players currently in camp which will include a 10-week core strength and skills training necessary for the team.
The coach also feels that his new charges are lacking the skills to catching, passing and ball possession of the ball and he hopes to inculcate those skills in the squad that will be together until after this year’s Safari Seven after which he will name his squad for the IRB circuit which kick off in October.
The Kenya Sevens squad began a four day residential training camp on Thursday, and the camp will run until on Sunday before moving to Brookhouse School next week.
The KRU chairman, Mwangi Muthee said that the Union will rely on the report of the new technical bench to come up with the 10 players who will be contracted by the Union.
The report will rely on, among other things, the players’ availability for matches and Muthee affirmed that the factor will be considered before contracting any player.
Muthee also outlined the importance of the upcoming season which marks the start of promotion and relegation from the HSBC Sevens World Series, and also the RWC Sevens that will take place in Russia and urged the team to do its best to ensure that Kenya remains at the top level of the competition.
“Rugby is now an Olympic sport and teams such as the USA, Russia, Spain, Japan, Portugal and Zimbabwe either fully professional or semi professional. The K.R.U is leaving nothing to chance to ensure that the team performs to optimum levels,” said Muthee.
He added, “we brought a big number (43) to camp so that the coaches can pick the best. We will then have 10 core players on contract, another 10 in second tier and five from the under 19 academy will be on standby. Those will be contracted by the union as our national sevens team.”
Meanwhile Mwamba’s prop Joseph Oriwo will be out for at least four weeks following a fracture in his right thumb during a club assignment. Team manager Steve Sewe said the player is currently going through strength and conditioning and he is expected back in training in a month’s time.
The team also has three under 19 players, Joseph Opuk, Billy Odhiambo and Robert Aringo who have been included in the programme as the union embarks on rebuilding of a ‘new’ sevens squad.
The trio will be among the five contracted players from the academy.
Players called up: Andrew Amonde, Oliver Mang’eni, Darwin Mukidza (Kenya Commercial Bank), Eric Mochache, Oscar Ouma, Godfrey Mbeya, (Nakuru), Dennis Muhanji, Allan Omuka, Patrice Agunda, Tony Mutai, Kevin Keegan, David Ambunya, Felix Ayange, Sidney Ashioya, Willy Ambaka, Wilson Kopondo, Nato Simiyu, Leon Adongo, Eden Agero, (Quins), Eric Avungana, Michael Agevi, Horace Otieno, Daniel Sikuta, Joseph Oriwo, Humphrey Kayange, Chris Asego, Edgar Abere, Lavin Asego, Collins Injera, Dennis Ombachi (Mwamba), Philip Wamae, Ken Moseti, Biko Adema, Benedict Nyambu (Nondies), Michael Wanjala, Charles Omondi, Joseph Opuk, Billy Odhiambo, Edwin Salamba, Cyprian Kubo, Tony Onyango, (Strathmore University), Oscar Ayodi (Homeboyz), Robert Aringo (Impala).
© All rights reserved