Hull City Academy ‘Coaches To Count On’ clinic kicks off

Select local coaches and players started a three-day clinic conducted by three elite trainers from English second division side, Hull City Academy, in Nairobi on Tuesday in an initiative dubbed ‘coaches to count on’.

The trio; Richard O’Donnell and Daniel O’Keefe, together with the club’s Group Commercial Manager Joe Clutterbrook landed in the country on Monday evening to facilitate the exercise aimed at improving football standards in Kenya courtesy of global entertainment and technology business, SportPesa.


Coaches and players selected to participate in the ‘coaches to count on’ three day clinic in Nairobi pose for a group photo after the end of the opening session of the exercise in Nairobi on Tuesday, May 7, 2019. PHOTO/COURTESY

Seven male and three female coaches who were selected through a course offered by the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) which has been on-going since 2016 with 14 reserve players from SportPesa Shield champions, Kariobangi Sharks FC also benefiting from the clinic.

The SportPesa Premier League side will host English Premier League side, Everton FC at the MISC Kasarani Stadium on July 7 as reward for winning the eight-team regional knockout SportPesa Cup in Dar-es-Salaam in January.

Bring opportunities

The Hull coaches returned to the country almost a year after the Tigers played SPL titleholders and leaders, Gor Mahia FC at Kasarani in a sold out friendly that ended 4-3 in favour of the visitors on post-match penalties after the teams shared a barren stalemate.

“It’s great to be back in Kenya and again for a very worthy cause.  Today (Tuesday) went well and we are very excited for the two days we have left to instil the knowledge we have to the coaches and players at our disposal. 

“Such initiatives bring opportunities with them and that’s most important. We plan to help in every way we can because there is no lack of football talent in Kenya,” O’Donnell, who was part of the coaches that selected the SportPesa All Stars team that travelled to England to play the Tigers at KCOM Stadium in 2016 stated. 

National women’s team Harambee Starlets head coach, David Ouma, one of the local tacticians involved in the exercise that concludes on Thursday, hailed the clinic that is the latest technical exchange programme that leverages on SportPesa partnerships with European football teams and leagues to develop the local game.

Deeper understanding

“The greatest thing and is always a good step is to give players and coaches such exposure. The instructors from Hull who are controlling this course have a deeper understanding of the game and English style of play. It’s a great initiative to have them coming to train our local coaches,” Ouma said.

“This will help get our players ready for scouting opportunities that may come in the future which will be great for the country as a whole,” the tactician who led Starlets to the 2016 Africa Women Cup of Nations in Cameroon emphasised.

Christine Anjala who is the head coach of FKF National Women Premier League outfit Spedag FC, Shimanzi Youth FC as well as training primary schools echoed Ouma’s remarks.

“I have done the basics but I’ve come for a refresher course and I’m very grateful to the federation and SportPesa for arranging such an opportunity for us to learn and become better,” the long-serving local female tactician offered. 

Open session

“I urge them to organise more of these initiatives so the entire country can grow and develop the sport together.”

Speaking after attending the opening session, SportPesa Chief Marketing Officer, Kelvin Twissa detailed the motivation behind the ‘coaches to count on’ drive was to enhance the skill set of football training in the region.

“We hope to increase the number of qualified coaches at a high performance standard to send back to the industry. 

“We believe that good coaches are very key in nurturing player talent which then translates to successful teams,” Twissa declared.

The day began with a two-hour theory session where the coaches skills off the pitch were sharpened by the British coaches before an afternoon practical session. 

The visit of the Hull coaches is the latest of such initiatives organised under the SportPesa banners that has seen trainers from Premier League sides Arsenal FC and Southampton FC come to Kenya from 2016 to share their skill with locals.

Courtesy Sportpesa News

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