Nakuru Athletic Club coach Agesa worried by 'fast' Chase Sailors

By ronnie evans
Jun 15, 2017
  • Chase Amira are in Mombasa while the men's side wait for Nakuru Athletic Club in Nairobi. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Nakuru Athletic Club return to action after a two week layoff with two matches on Saturday and Sunday in the Kenya Hockey Union men’s Premier League at the City Park Stadium.

The Nakuru based side played their last two matches at home and failed to capitalize on their home turf. They travel to Nairobi to face Chase Sailors on Saturday before squaring it off with Parklands Sports Club on Sunday.

Their form book has not been good. They have won just one match in the last five encounters and are placed 12th on the 15 team log.

Coach Tony Agesa has cited inexperience as the major reason for their slump in form but remains optimistic.

“It has been difficult in the league this season because we have a young group of players who are still getting used to playing at this level. We do not want to get ahead of ourselves but it is possible to get maximum points in these two matches,” he said.

Agesa is concerned about the fast paced approach by Chase Sailors led by lethal striker George Mutira and Titus Ngolia.

His strategy will be to shut down their supply channels in the midfield and defend well. Agesa will rely on the services of Dennis Mageto in goal as well as captain Jacob Githinji to provide leadership. Dolcan Mugaisi is tasked with sourcing for the goals especially from set pieces.

The last time the two sides faced off was in November 2016 where Chase Sailors prevailed 3-0 in the fifth/sixth place positional playoffs. The Chase Bank-sponsored side are seventh with 10 points.

Respect for PSC

Agesa said that he will not underrate strugglers Parklands Sports Club who notched their first win in 10 matches. He added that recent form will count for nothing as matters are settled on the field of play.

Meanwhile, the United States International University-Africa coach Tom Olal hopes a strong defensive unit will be able to keep the strong attacking system of league leaders Kenya Police at bay.

The two clash on Sunday with the students not finding the rhythm in the last five matches since returning from the school holidays.

Olal takes inspiration from Wazalendo who showed that Kenya Police can also be vulnerable in their 3-3 draw.

“They conceded three goals so it shows that with the right mentality, we can also get a positive result from them. They are very good offensively so proper defending is vital in containing them,” he said.

The students will heavily rely on the central defensive presence of Samson Ratia who has had his fair share of mistakes at the back.

Also key is Kenyan international goalkeeper Linus Sang who has time and again saved the team from further defeats this season.

Kenya Police (31 points) saw their lead cut to six points by Butali Sugar on Wednesday while USIU-A are 10th with nine points.

Weekend Fixtures - Venue is City Park unless stated

Saturday: Telkom Orange v Multimedia University (12 p.m.), Mombasa Sports Club v Chase Amira (3 p.m, Mombasa) - Premier League Women; Multimedia University v Karate Axiom (2 p.m.), Park Road Tigers v Mombasa Sports Club (6 p.m.) - National League; Chase Sailors v Nakuru Athletic Club (4 p.m.), Western Jaguars v Green Sharks (4 p.m, Kakamega) - Premier League Men.

Sunday: Sliders v Multimedia University (1 p.m.) - Premier League Women; Gorilla v Mombasa Sports Club (9 a.m.), Thika Rovers v Daystar University (3 p.m.) - National League; Western Jaguars v Park Road Badgers (9 a.m, Kakamega), Parklands Sports​ Club v Nakuru Athletic Club (11 a.m.), Kenya Police v United States International University-Africa (5 p.m.) - Premier League Men.