The Star (Kenya)

Age mat­ters less

Simiyu as­sures play­ers ahead of next sea­son’s as­sign­ments

- BY WIL­LIAM NJUGUNA @mbote­s­ports Sports · Kenya · Dubai · Cape Town · Northampton Town F.C. · Tokyo

Kenya Sev­ens head coach In­no­cent Simiyu be­lieves both young and old play­ers in the squad can pro­pel the team to great heights.

The for­mer Shu­jaa and Sim­bas skip­per re­turns for a sec­ond stint fol­low­ing his ap­point­ment on Tues­day. He said there is a lot of po­ten­tial from both the young and old play­ers and the ma­jor task for him at the mo­ment is to come up with the best team.

“Age is not a fac­tor. Whether you are 40 or 20 as long as you meet our phys­i­cal and tac­ti­cal stan­dards and you ex­e­cute our plan, you will have a bet­ter chance,” he noted.

De­spite the strug­gles of the side in the past two sea­sons, Shu­jaa have un­earthed young qual­ity play­ers in the shape of KCB duo of util­ity back Vin­cent Onyala and play­maker John­stone Olindi and Mwamba’s Daniel Taabu.

The for­mer Im­pala util­ity back will be bank­ing on tal­is­man Collins In­jera, skip­per An­drew Amonde, Willy Am­baka and Billy Odhiambo and and Jeffrey Olu­och to guide the young­sters in the squad.

Simiyu has asked his charges to play the Kenyan way and be ag­ile in stack and adap­tive on var­i­ous facets of play. “I have al­ways ad­vo­cated for the ‘Kenyan style of play’ which com­bines our ath­leti­cism, strength and agility.

“I want play­ers who are ag­ile in at­tack, can quickly adapt to the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion and de­liver and can in­crease the di­ver­sity in terms of our game. The key fo­cus will be on our Kenyan style of play,” he added.

Simiyu of­fi­cially starts work on

Oc­to­ber 1 and hopes the squad will be ready by Jan­uary. “If we can get the play­ers fit and meet­ing stan­dards, then we can have a good sea­son.”

Simiyu ob­served the Covid-19 pandemic has thrown sport glob­ally into dis­ar­ray with four legs of the World Sev­ens Series can­celled. They in­clude Dubai, Cape Town, Syd­ney and Hamil­ton. “We are look­ing at a sce­nario where we may not have enough tour­na­ments lead­ing to the Olympics in Tokyo. How­ever, in case that does not hap­pen, then we have to look at in­vi­ta­tional tour­na­ments or or­gan­ise tour­na­ments lo­cally,” said Simiyu.

Shu­jaa fin­ished a dis­ap­point­ing 12th in the short­ened 20192020 sea­son with 36 points from six tour­na­ments and Simiyu will be keen for Kenya to be in the top eight glob­ally as they tar­get a medal at the Olympics next year.

 ?? /REUTERS ?? Collins In­jera in a past ac­tion
/REUTERS Collins In­jera in a past ac­tion
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