Mango: Player contracts ready before Series

By francis marangu
Nov 16, 2021
  • KRU intends to contract 20 and six academy players after finalizing sponsorship deal with Kenya Airways.

  • Benjamin Ayimba, the Kenya Sevens head coach is not worried by the distractions.

Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) has confirmed that Kenya Sevens players contracts will be ready on time before the 2015/16 World Series begins with Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens from December 3-5.

Director of National Squads Oscar Mango told on Monday that they are in the final stages of negotiations with sponsors Kenya Airways. “We hope that everything will be in place by the end of this week. Actually, the contracts have already been drafted and are waiting agreement on finer details,” he noted.

“Many factors like availability of players must be considered to know what type of contract every player will get. We are working with the team’s management on that.” Mango said they are looking to contract 20 core players with six others being drafted as development players as per the wishes of the technical bench.

The team returned to the country on Monday from South Africa where they won Africa Cup and qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympic games.

Dennis Ombachi who literally handed Kenya the Olympics spot with a try when it appeared done and dusted said it was not a situation out of the ordinary. “It felt like a mission accomplished. It means a lot to me and the team.”

It was not the first time that Ombachi was scoring a crucial try for the team and club Mwamba RFC.

Courage and determination

Head coach Benjamin Ayimba said the last-minute win against Zimbabwe in the final match was attributed to courage and determination that is within the team. He paid tribute to key players on and off the field who made it happen including Kenya Airways and KRU management.

“For all those who have been involved in this short and successful journey, we say thank you. We would not have made it without you. We made God proud, we made our families proud and we made ourselves proud. We saw God in that final.” Ayimba said he will not be distracted by the few people who still doubt his abilities to steer the team to glory.

He has two weeks to prepare the team for the next big assignment in Dubai. “Before they said we can't win Safari Sevens, they then said we will not make it to the Olympics and now that we have qualified they are saying we should have made it easy. Let them say whatever they want but this medal is worn by only 12 people in the world.”

Captain Andrew Amonde said the team is honoured at qualifying in their second attempt after failing to make it automatically. “It's a honour for the team to qualify for Olympics. As we head to the new season, we have sent out a clear statement.”

In Dubai, Kenya has been placed in a tough Pool D that has England who finished fourth last season, Australia and Wales. Pool A has series champions Fiji, Canada, Japan and Argentina with Pool B comprising of South Africa, Scotland, Samoa and Russia. Pool C has New Zealand, USA, France and Portugal.