Monday, February 14, 2011

How ‘Ogre’ devoured rivals to grab Kenya Cup League

Chris Omollo | NATION Kenya Harlequin’s Dennis Muhanji keeps his eye on the ball during his team’s Kenya Cup League match against Nakuru at the RFUEA on February 12 2011. Quins scored a comfortable 36-0 win to take the Kenya Cup trophy.

Chris Omollo | NATION Kenya Harlequin’s Dennis Muhanji keeps his eye on the ball during his team’s Kenya Cup League match against Nakuru at the RFUEA on February 12 2011. Quins scored a comfortable 36-0 win to take the Kenya Cup trophy. 

By AYUMBA AYODI [email protected]

Kenya Harlequin coach Edward “Ogre” Kinyany attributed his team’s Kenya Cup success in the last two years to a strong foundation laid by his predecessor.

Kinyany said the structures put in place by Thomas Odundo five years ago have created a rich and unrivalled depth that has seen the team reign supreme.

On Saturday, Quins not only crushed big-talking Nakuru 36-0 to retain the Kenya Cup title, but they also upheld their unbeaten run with two matches in had against their major traditional rivals Kenya Commercial Bank and Impala.

The unassailable Quins lead the eight-team standings with 59 points followed by KCB and Impala, who have been left to battle for second place with 47 and 44 points respectively.

Developed new players

“What we did was to refine Odundo’s structures to mould players who in return have believed in what they are doing to deliver it perfectly,” said Kinyany.

“We have developed new players straight from school in the likes of Isaac Adimu, David Ambunya, Patrice Agunda and Willy Ambaka."

Kinyany explained that these young players have powered through the ranks pretty fast to gel well with older players, who have been there for over five years, like Daniel Kiptoo, Joel Ng’ang’a and Victor Sudi.

Kinyany also said what’s important is that they have put God first in the many challenges they have faced besides the enthralling team spirit and hard work in training that has witnessed an average turnout of 70 players on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thurdays.

“You miss two training sessions with the senior team and you are relegated to Eric Shirley Shield that is equally competitive and intense with young players coming from school,” said Kinyany.

Kinyany singled out Willy Ambaka and Eden Agero, whom they have put under an intensive programme that has seen them rise from Quins II not only to the senior team, but also the national evens and 15s teams.

Kinyany said they would hit the road early in preparations in pursuit for their eighth Kenya Cup glory next season.

“We shall start off season with physical conditioning and gym work,” said Kinyany who also explained that they will have three teams next season - for the Kenya Cup, ESS and a Quins Academy for young players aged 19 and below.

advertisement