What you need to know:
- Nelson Oyoo, who got to captain the team for the first time, said they will have to fine-tune their kick-offs, attack and defence.
- “Our two loses to Argentina tells us that we can keep working hard to get where we want to be,” said Oyoo, promising that they shall be at the peak of their game come Tokyo Olympic Games.
Kenya Sevens team coach Innocent “Namcos” Simiyu has said that his work cut out ahead of the Dubai Sevens and Tokyo Olympic Games.
Simiyu, who hinted at making several changes ahead of the Dubai Sevens due March 26 to 28 said that the two legs of Madrid Sevens where his team reached the finals, provided pointers on what to work on moving forward.
Simiyu's Kenya Lionesses counterpart, Felix Oloo, said that they too came from the Madrid Sevens with immense lessons that will be vital for their Olympic gold medal quest.
Simiyu said he will have to refine his team's execution especially the kick offs after they were exposed especially in the last leg's final against Argentina.
Shujaa lost to the Pumas 45-7 in the final on Sunday, a week after they too went down 21-14 to the same opponents in the final.
The Lionesses lost to Russia 19-0 in the final, a great improvement from the previous leg where they lost all their seven matches.
Simiyu and Oloo were was speaking during a breakfast hosted for them by the Sports, Art and Social Development Fund at Ole Sereni Hotel, Nairobi upon arrival from Madrid Tuesday.
Also present was the secretary administration in the Ministry of Sports, Josephine Onunga and the CEO of Sports Fund, Mark Wambugu.
Simiyu noted that they had challenges in tackles completion in the first leg, but that was addressed only for kick off hiccups to crop up.
“We shall be back to the garage next week as we start our preparations for Dubai Sevens where we shall also try other players and different combinations and see how it goes,” said Simiyu.
Nevertheless, Simiyu said it felt good to get the opportunity to compete again and showcase their talent, adding that they now have a good plan leading to the Olympics.
Simiyu noted that Kenya is quite behind in regards to conditioning targets and skill execution ahead of the Olympics.
“But I am happy where players are and I can rate them seven out of 10. We shall close that gap,” explained Simiyu.
“We have more clarity on things we need to do, so that we can be in a better position in terms of medal contention at the Olympics,” said Simiyu, adding that he believes that his boys will put in extra work so as to enable him execute his plans well.
“There is a lot of improvement if you look at the pace of the game in Madrid hence we must uphold or improve on that,” said Simiyu. adding that all his players have raised their game and that he is happy with their commitment and will to win.
Simiyu said even though he has been working with a pool of 29 players, he will pick his squad from 24 players who have been active.
As Simiyu commended the Ministry of Sports and the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) for their support, he noted that a conducive environment will be key to great results and performance from the team.
“We are not yet there since were are still working to have the players get contracts and the right equipment that has been coming through,” said Simiyu.
Nelson Oyoo, who got to captain the team for the first time, said they will have to fine-tune their kick-offs, attack and defence.
“Our two loses to Argentina tells us that we can keep working hard to get where we want to be,” said Oyoo, promising that they shall be at the peak of their game come Tokyo Olympic Games.