•Matano expressed satisfaction with the form his charges exhibited during the just concluded week-long training camp in Kericho.
•Matano showered Tusker's shirt sponsors with praise for facilitating their trip to Kericho and hoped the trend will continue.
Kenyan Premier League champions, Tusker, have sharpened their claws and are ready for a third back-to-back title, according to head coach Robert Matano.
Matano expressed satisfaction with the form his charges exhibited during the just concluded week-long training camp in Kericho, where they posted positive results in all the four friendly matches they played.
“I'm happy with the progress of the team and now I know the players very well. If the league begins today, I will have an idea of who is going to be in the starting lineup,” Matano said.
“I have a clear picture of the team. Those four matches have given me a chance to evaluate every player's performance in the last four matches.
He, however, challenged squad members who did not live up to expectations during the training camp to punch above their weight if they expect to be considered for league fixtures.
“Every player participated and there are those who did well but some are still underperforming. Hopefully, they will improve.
The gaffer said he mainly gauged his players on strength and endurance during the preseason encounters.
“The fitness levels are ok. I was interested to know if we can play four matches without getting tired. I want to make sure we have the level of fitness needed to take us through the whole season,” Matano said.
“Next, we will focus on the organization of the team and get to know who will make the final squad. All in all, I'm happy now because I know my team well enough.”
Matano showered Tusker's shirt sponsors with praise for facilitating their trip to Kericho and hoped the trend will continue.
“I'm happy with the preparations because, for a long time, we've not had a training camp. The management should continue doing this more often to bring the players together. The players need to work as a family and bond all the time,” Matano said.
He said the training camp was a welcome departure from the traditional way of preparing the team in the past.
“When we train in Nairobi, we usually go away immediately after training and there is hardly time to bond and know each other. We usually don't have enough time together as a football family.
“So, the training camp in Kericho has given us a good time. The atmosphere in Kericho was fantastic. It was a very good place to be because of the environment. I'm happy."
The brewers upset the form book in the 2020/2021 season to halt the dominance of traditional giants, Gor Mahia, who had clinched four consecutive titles since 2017. They pulled off another surprise in the following season to clinch a back-to-back title.