The Star (Kenya)
Age matters less
Simiyu assures players ahead of next season’s assignments
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.