Holders Dagoretti High School will be wary of any upsets as the Nairobi Region Term Two Games get underway Friday at various venues across the city.
Dagoretti will be defending their boys’ under 20 football title and also look to wrestle the under-16 football title from champions and rivals Upper Hill.
Dagoretti have been drawn in pool A and will open their title defence against Our Lady of Fatima at their home ground, before taking on Sunflower School in their second pool match on Saturday.
With the pool having only three teams, Dagoretti will be looking to top their pool and seal their spot in next week’s quarterfinals.
Dagoretti coach Joseph Makokha is not underestimating any team and has urged his charges to approach each match as a final.
“Big teams are falling by the way side country wide and we don’t want to suffer the same fate and that is why we respect all opposition at this stage,” he said on Thursday.
Dagoretti will count on the prolific Simon Omondi and Marko Deng, who each scored a brace as they successfully defend their sub-county title, after a 5-1 rout of Dagoretti Mixed in the final early this month.
Former national champions Upper Hill are in pool B and open their campaign against Pumwani Boys and finish their preliminary campaign against Kinyago Dandora Saturday.
Upper Hill relinquished their regional crown after going down 2-0 to Dagoretti and the two are tipped to once again clash in the final.
In total, there are six groups and the winners of these groups, as well two best-placed runners-up will advance to the last eight stage of the tourney.
Other matches will be played at Lenana School.
The under 16 football competition will be played at Starehe Boys, Eastleigh Boys and Jamhuri High School grounds. Boys’ champions Upper Hill start their defence against Jamhuri, before taking on Dandora in their second pool A match.
They will end their pool matches on Saturday with a clash against Sunshine.
“We are aiming to go all the way once again and reach the nationals,” Upper Hill coach Gilbert Walusimbi said.
Upper Hills saw off Dagoretti 3-1 on post-match penalties in last year’s final. Olympic Mixed, who hold both the girls’ under 20 and 16 football titles, face Maina Wanjigi in their pool A opener before facing Dandora on Saturday.
In volleyball, defending champions Langata High School (boys) and Soweto Academy will be in action and are favourites to advance to the knockout stages.
Netball action will also take centre stage with Olympic Mixed looking to successfully defend their title.
Winners in various disciplines will qualify for the nationals set for Kisumu next month.