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Football

Tusker pick pace at work in Kericho pre-season camp

Tusker FC head coach Robert Matano speaks before the team starts training at the Chemase Grounds in Kericho scaled
  • Tusker will be in Kericho for a week
  • The team will play four friendly matches
  • The start of the new season is not yet definite

FKF Premier League champions Tusker FC are in Kericho for a week-long pre-season training camp, even as teams wait to know whether the league will start or not.

The FKF Transition Committee had set September 24 as a probable start date, but the same still lies in limbo with the ousted Federation said to be closing in on a return. After the inauguration of President William Ruto, it is expected that a new Cabinet Secretary will come into place, replacing Amina Mohamed.

The new CS is anticipated to take a stand on whether the ousted Federation will be brought back into office or not. If the Federation is brought back into office, then the start of the new season might be altered.

But, even as the wait continues, defending champions Tusker are leaving nothing to chance as they prepare for the new campaign, in search of a 14th title.

The team will be in Kericho for one week, having arrived on Monday and had their first session on Tuesday. Head coach Robert Matano says the camp will be vital for them to prepare for the new season.

Looking forward to cohesive Unit

Tusker FC

Tusker FC Strength and Conditioning coach Enos Karani prepares the team during training at the Chemase Grounds in Kericho

He is looking towards creating a cohesive unit, with seven new players having joined his ranks.

“This camping builds cohesion, togetherness and focus. Everyone understands why they are in this team and the demands that come with playing for Tusker. It is important and we thank our management for giving us such a chance because everyone concentrates and puts their efforts together,” Matano said as the team had its first session in the Rift Valley town.

He adds that the camp is especially vital for the new players who need to understand the demands of the team as well as the style of play and tactics he wants to enforce for the new season.

“The new players are gelling in well and they are not entirely new. They have played with the other players in the team but they are new to the Tusker culture and this time will be important for them to gel in,” Matano says.

Tusker to play four friendly matches

Apollo Otieno

Midfieldr Apollo Otieno passes the ball under pressure from Clyde Senaji (left) and Stewart Omondi (right)

The brewers are scheduled to play four friendly matches. They will take on Wazito FC on Thursday afternoon in Muhoroni, before playing Gusii United, Premier League new boys APS Bomet as well as Mara Sugar on Sunday to conclude their pre-season.

“These friendly matches will be very important for us because they will show us where we are as a team and what we need to do to improve. It will also give me a chance to know my best team to start the season with,” noted the tactician.

Tusker have won the title for the last two seasons and are seeking a three-peat for the first time ever in their history. Though Matano reckons it will not be an easy season, he believes that his players have what it takes to battle for a 14th league crown.

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