The first week of the training camp at the Kasarani Stadium to select the SportPesa All Stars team went on without a hitch. The energy levels, level of commitment and immensity of the desire amongst the players was very high. Coaches Terry Boyle and Dean Windass loved the atmosphere provided for them each and every day.
Being on the ground, I got the opportunity to talk to both the players and the coaches on a daily basis. The exposure to new and different training techniques offered by the English coaches was quite noticeable and the players received it well.
“Training has been good. We are learning a lot from the coaches. Some of the things we have done with our clubs, others we haven’t. It’s a good learning experience.” Allan Wanga from Tusker FC said.
The level of understanding between the players and the coaches had grown considerably over the week, though it was short-lived. After such a highly eventful and electric week of training, the reality of the first cut-down beckoned. 12 players were dismissed from the camp on Saturday afternoon as the team develops more shape ahead of the next week’s training.
After much anxiety and anticipation, the names of the players who were to remain in camp were read out by the All Stars Team Manager, Neville Pudo. Though disappointing for the players who would not be progressing into the next selection phase, they showed great attitude after the announcement.
“It’s a little disappointing but it’s life. I have learnt a lot from the Hull City coaches and since the league is about to begin, I will implement all of it at my home club,” Muhoroni Youth FC’s Dennis Monda said. “All the players who will remain, I wish them all the best as they go ahead.”
A new week came with it two new coaches. Terry and Dean had completed their task at hand and showed great enthusiasm as they ushered in they’re successors. The players warmly welcomed Richard O’Donnell and Daniel O’Keefe from Hull City. Very much pleased to be here, they instantly picked up from where there predecessors had left off.
The week began with an intense training session on Monday morning. Possession, dribbling and finishing techniques were tested by the two new coaches. Surprisingly enough, they had learned and were calling all the players by name by this time. The life after the trim was restored as the session was full of laughter and purpose.
“The players are very good technically and we want them to tell us where they prefer to play, we will switch them around and see how that works out. This week we will definitely have more 11v11 games,” said coach Richard O’Donnell. The afternoon brought just that as we were treated to a mouth-watering game amongst the players. This gave the coaches more insight of the players attitude when they are both on and off the pitch.
The end of this second phase draws ever so close as this is the last chance to prove one’s worth. it will definitely take something absolutely special to make it to the SportPesa All Stars team. We look forward to yet another thrilling week of football before the weekend’s great reveal.
Who will make it? Who will not? Well, that’s fully up to the pair of Richard and Daniel.
We will have to wait to find out who will be in the SportPesa All Stars team.