• South African duo Hanyani Shimange and Rito Hlungwani lead training camp.
• Bankers to face Impala in Enterprise Cup semis on May 4
Kenya Cup champions KCB have enlisted the services of Western Province specialist coaches, Hanyani Shimanage and Rito Hlungwani, as they intensify their training ahead of the Kenya Cup playoffs and Enterprise Cup semifinals set for next month.
The duo put the squad through the paces for the past one week and had an intense training camp ahead of a season-defining month.
Shimange is a former Springbok prop who was capped nine times by South Africa and had various playing stints with Free state Cheetahs, Sharks, Golden Cats, Western Province and Stormers. Hlungwani is an assistant coach at Western Province.
The bankers finished second in the Kenya Cup group phase on 72 points, one point behind Kabras.
KCB will face Impala in the Enterprise Cup semifinal on May 4. They will then battle the winner between Impala and Quins in the Kenya Cup semifinal on May 11 at the Lions' Den in Ruaraka.
KCB II are in the Eric Shirley Shield semis having finished the group phase unbeaten as the bankers chase a treble of trophies in the 15s game.
KCB team manager, Phillip Wamae, said the South African duo have shared strategies and key areas of improvement for the team.
"It was an excellent training camp for the boys. Shimanage and Hlungwani were with us in Cape Town last year on a pre-season tour and were looking at tightening various facets of play and see how we can improve our performances,” said Wamae.
He said Kenya Sevens duo of Andrew Amonde and Vincent Onyala could play a part in the Enterprise Cup and Kenya Cup semis before they jet for the final two legs of the World Sevens Series next month.
“Yes, they will be given an opportunity to train with the rest of the squad. They are both key players for us and we hope to have them for both our matches and if possible for the final,” added Wamae, adding that they will be taking one game at a time.
"We have come to a very important stage of the season and we can't get ahead of ourselves. The competition is cutthroat but we are well prepared,” added Wamae.
The bankers who are chasing a third consecutive Kenya Cup title to emulate the class of 2005-2007 with Wamae observing past history will count for nothing.
Meanwhile, Kenya Cup side Homeboyz are planning to undertake an overhaul following a disappointing campaign in the Kenya Cup.
The deejays, who for the past two seasons reached the Kenya Cup semis failed to qualify for the season-ending playoffs after finishing eighth with 29 points.
Homeboyz RFC chairman Mike Rabar said they were keen on building a formidable outfit for not only the defence of the national Sevens crown but also challenge for the Kenya Cup title next season.
“We are looking to build our capacity and get depth in our teams for the next couple of years in order to compete with the top sides in the league,” said Rabar
Rabar observed that some of their players' run in the World Sevens Series with Shujaa as well as the Kenya Simbas alongside the transition period as veteran coach Paul Murunga replaced Simon Odongo could have a hand in their dismal displays.
“If you look at how the season started, we were without 12 players — away with the various national teams and then a new coach took over which is not easy,” added Rabar
Players interested to join the deejays are required to send a brief bio to [email protected] before May 31, 2019, indicating name, weight, contact, position, age, photo and current location.
Successful players will earn Sh20,000 per month, get job opportunities and play in international tournaments — as per the communique from the club.
The deejays turn their attention to the Eric Shirley Shield playoffs on Saturday, where they host Quins II. The winner of the tie will travel to Kakamega to face Kabras II in the semifinals on May 11.