‘Big Willy’ glad to be back for Kenya 7s, eyes Rio place

By alex wafula
Oct 03, 2021
  • Willy Ambaka powers past Burundi in the first match. The player is eyeing the Olympics qualifier next month in South Africa. (Photo by Alex Wafula)

Willy Ambaka announced his return to the national sevens side with an outstanding six tries on day one of the 20th edition of the annual Safari Sevens.

The Kenya Harlequin FC player was named in the Shujaa team after almost two years out spending professional stints in France and South Africa. He had been an integral part of the Kenya 7s squad under former coach Mike Friday.

“I really feel happy to be back with the national team. This is where I always call home and I feel happy with my performance in the first three games of the tournament. At the moment, I am working on my fitness and hopefully, I become better by the day,” Ambaka told Sportsnewsarena.

Though he is not yet sure when he will return to South Africa where he plied his trade with Western Province, Ambaka says his immediate target is getting back into full fitness and hopefully making it into the Shujaa squad for the Olympic qualifiers which will be played later in the year in South Africa.

“The big goal now is the Olympics. I am quite sure with the current team we have and good training, we will be a force in the qualifiers and we will land that ticket to Rio,” he noted.

The big man has definitely improved and has attributed this to the experience he has picked while playing in France and South Africa. He opines adding a little more experience with the input in the national team from coach Benjamin Ayimba will make him better.

“Playing in France and South Africa was a huge experience for me. Back there things are quite different from home since it is tougher there. I have learnt a lot and from that experience I have become a better player,” he added.

Ayimba was full of praise for the winger who can also play as a centre, especially on his leadership skills and the experience he brings into the team. “He is only 23 years old but if you see how he carries himself in the field, it is totally huge.

He is one of the players who we are grooming to be future leaders and he has already shown that. His contribution to the team is great and I am pleased he is in the team,” Ayimba added.

Ambaka is also expected to play an integral part for the team in the main cup quarters on Sunday with Shujaa expected to face off with the Newcastle Wailers. The Wailers topped their group, winning all their group matches.