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Frustrated Feeney quits Kenya Sevens coaching job

Friday June 12 2020
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Kenya Sevens coach Paul Feeney looks on during their training session at the RFUEA grounds on February 20, 2020 ahead of the fifth and sixth rounds of the 2019/20 HSBC World Sevens Series in Los Angeles and Vancouver respectively. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By AYUMBA AYODI

Frustrations stemming from lack of long term investment in Kenya Sevens team has seen head coach Paul Feeney quit less than a year into his job.

A statement from Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) indicated that Feeney had resigned as Technical Director by mutual consent.

Feeney, who is already back in New Zealand left the role at the end of April this year owing to what KRU indicated as the uncertainty around the Covid-19 situation and the need to be at home with his family in New Zealand.

"Feeney was frustrated since the Union was unable to invest and buy into his long term program," said a source close to the Kenya Sevens team.

"The team has been lacking basic gym equipment and resources and it has been difficult for the team."

The source said that the team's strength and conditioning can be top notch but it needed bridging in terms of technology.

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"Things like Global Positioning Systems, video analysis equipment have been hard to come by. Players needed things like Ipads for analytical purpose but they can't get them," said the source adding that top sides in the World Rugby Series have all these basics.

Feeney was appointed Kenya Sevens head coach in September last year and handed a three-year contract.

"Feeney thought it wise not to continue drawing a salary when he has nothing to work on," said the source claiming that the Union had also failed to secure a working permit and a vehicle to enable the coach work with ease.

Under his management, Kenya Sevens won the 2019 Rugby Africa Men’s Sevens in Johannesburg,South Africa, to secure qualification to the 32nd Olympic Games which will now take place in Tokyo, Japan in 2021.

He also guided the Kenya Morans to cup final victory at the 2019 Tusker Safari Sevens.

"It is unfortunate he has been unable to complete the ongoing sevens world series due to the Covid-19 pandemic," said KRU chairman Oduor Gangla, who declined to comment on Feeney's frustration.

Gagla said the process to fill the vacancy arising from his departure is currently ongoing and asked interested parties to submit their applications to the Union.

"We would like to thank Paul for his work during his time with us and wish him success in the future," said Gangla.

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