Of Oliech and Kenyan Football

Football is funny or let me say hilarious to honour my English. Like many sports disciplines, many times, potential and promising has not developed into a polished talent. When it comes to explaining why George ‘blackberry’ Odhiambo, Patila Omoto, or Ibrahim Kitawi never matured into the players we expected them to become, every opinion owner will paint a shade that is unique to their understanding of the game. There lies the problem with Kenyan football, too many hanging and unfounded answers to simple problems.

Let me look at Oliech also known as Denis the Menace or simply wuod Mary. Oliech is the best goal poaching talent we have produced in recent times. This explains why he has to be included in the national team even when he is unfit, throwing tantrums or even in a poor frame of mind. Look at it, when is the last time Oliech scored for Harambee Stars? You have to think very hard on it.

Oliech’s main strength has been speed. It is speed that enabled him to pull many thunderous shots into goals. Watching Oliech recently leaves you wondering why he is not scoring goals. The answer is simple, his fast pace is no more and he has not adapted to the change. Oliech must change the way John Baraza of Sofapaka adapted. He should score more goals by working less as in put in more brain and less brawn.

Did you know that Oliech has not scored for Kenyan in a competitive match in three years? The three goals he has scored, against Sudan in LG Cup, and South Africa and Libya in friendly matches. Yet, the national team technical bench and FKF insist on having Oliech play for stars.

FKF is not interested in facts and statistics about Kenyan football. Football is managed on biased opinions of those in charge. These opinions have no backing in terms of facts of any kind. Which defender or defending partners have secured the highest number of clean sheets in KPL? When we go for such facts when selecting the national team, then we are bound to see results. 

Even if the national coach is left to select a team, FKF can ask him for reasons behind his call ups. Adel Amrouche called up players who do not have clubs, or played in obscure leagues. 

Broken Pipeline

Oliech was a gem from secondary school ball games. The fact that he graduated into the national team and beyond is one of the few success stories from Kenyan football. The Secondary Schools Term 2 B games are coming to an end this weekend in Kakamega. Copa Coca Cola is also in progress, yet we have not seen a gem of talent polished from these two tournaments.

As long as KPL has not put down criteria and procedures to bring up young talents into the mainstream league, then forget about Harambee Stars posting good results. We have the talent, we just need a formula to identify, nature and release into the football world.

As Oliech is going into the twilight of his football career, he needs to look into his future. That is also what FKF should do. By depending so match on an ageing Oliech, FKF has proved that twelve years since Oliech broke into the scene, we have not managed to produce a better striker. There lies one of the bigger problems with Kenyan football.

They gave everything to see it out. They were quick to the ball, strong in the challenge and absolutely determined not to let there to be a dramatic late twist. And, finally, Huddersfield Town could soak in the euphoria of a win against Manchester United, their first since March 1952, and one of those rare occasions when their supporters must have felt like the blood in their veins had been converted to red wine.

National women hockey team captain Lillian Aura has stated that they have collectively  set a target of qualifying for the World Cup when they participate in the Africa Cup of Nation championship which kicks off on Sunday in Ismailia, Egypt.

``The training has been tough because we always came early and left at 8pm and get home late after undergoing intense physical and technical work. But it is good because it has made us very ready for the tournament,'' she said.

``We want to stick to our game plan, work towards our strengths and also try countering what our opponents bring to the table. So the idea is to stick to what we have been working on and stay disciplined with a lot of team work. 

``Our main target is to qualify for the World Cup. We have a good team of players and with teawork, we are going to do everything we can to meet our target, added the captain.

The week-long competition, which has brought six nations, will also act as a 2018 World Cup qualifier. The winning men and women's teams will represent the continent at next year's global showpiece in India (men) and UK (women).

The women face a daunting task on Sunday when they take on defending champions South Africa, who have already qualified for the World Cup after finishing fifth in the World League Series in August. They will then face arch-rivals Ghana in their second matchbe fore following it up with fixtures against  Nigeria, Zambia and Egypt.

 

HOCKEY WOMEN 

GOALKEEPERS

Onyango Cynthia (Telkom)

Kerubo Rachel (Amira Chase)

BACKS

Owuor Rachel Ousa (Telkom)

Mutiva Flavia Mmogi (Telkom)

Muragu Jane Wanjiru (Strathmore)

Ngombo Elizabeth Kwekwe (Strathmore)

Teresa nyekesa Juma (Telkom)

MIDFIELDERS

Aura Lilian Felesya (Telkom) – Captain

Vondoti Sandra Ingumba ( USIU)

Karanja Tracy Nungari (Telkom)

Guchu Caroline Wangeci (Telkom)

Njogu Rachael Wangui (USIU)

Karanja Yvonne Wanjiku (Strathmore)

FORWARDS

Amutebi Pauline Naise (Amira Chase)

Okumu Maureen Arinda (Telkom)

Omaido Audrey Amooh (Telkom)

Kuira Rhoda Nyambura (USIU)

Okumu Gilly Okumu (Strathmore)

 

Ahead of the Africa Cup of Nation championship which kicks off on Sunday in Ismailia, Egypt, National hockey team coach and captain are confident of recording good results and even coming back with the top medal.

Speaking to KS, mens' coach Meshack Senge  stated that his side has adequaletly prepared for the tournament and will be going for the gold medal.

``We have had a fourteen-week training period in which we had a very comprehensive programme to see us qualify for the World Cup and the boys have responded very well to training.

``The team has seven new call ups but they are not very new players because they have previously trained with the national team but did not make the cut. So there is a very good understanding between them and the regulars which we have enhanced by working on things like team cohesion,'' he commented on the new additions.

``We have set out targets in two sets; Our first target is to qualify for the finals and our second is to win the gold. So we will first work to qualifying for the finals and then fight for the gold.''

Speaking on the assistance that the Federation has accorded them, Senge reiterated that they have been given maximum support to enable them head to Egypt without much issues.

``We are here because of the Federation. It has facilitated us in all that we asked and we understand where we are in terms of the Federation. So the fact that we are going means that someone has done his job in the Federation and I want to commend the for that.''

On his part, team captain Maxwell Fuchaka also affirmed on the need to bag gold and called on his teammates not to be afraid of facing different countries.

``The mood is superb; we are just waiting for the tournament. We have been training for the last five months and despite playing for different team in the league, everyone has gelled together and understood the style of play.

``We have tried helping them realize our objectives and explained to them that even the hockey being played outside there is just the same as the way we do.

``We are definitely going for gold. It will not just be a trip outside the country,'' he finished.

The men’s team start their campaign against Ghana on Sunday October 22.

 

 

 

Tusker FC consolidated the second spot of the league table momentarily after edging Nzoia United 2-1 in a match played on Saturday October 21 at the Sudi Stadium.

Two minutes into the game, Humphrey Mieno showed his capabilities with a clever flick over the oncoming keeper Mustapha Oduor but his goal-bound ball was timely intercepted by Elvis Rupia before it crossed the goal line.

The savior then went on to squander a chance in the opposite end in the 14th minute, receiving Victor Omondi's pass but could only direct his shot over the bar. 

The match was shortly forced two different styles of play Tusker maintaining a majority share of possession as they sought to dismantle Nzoia while the Sugar millers sat back and waited for speedy counter attacks.

Brian Otieno was on the receiving end of Nzoi's third chance in the 29th minute but let loose a very weak shot that was easily saved by the experienced Duncan Ochieng.

The intensity of the game however slowed down when the skies opened and both teams hurried into the break on a 0-0 score line.

Nzoia opened account eight minutes into the second half through Patrick Kwitonda whose exemplary dribbling skills navigated him past a host of Tusker defenders before slotting the ball past Ochieng.

Equalizer

The visitors however leveled the scores in the 65th minute, Noah Wafula capitalizing on Nzoia's defending error to set up an exciting twenty five minutes.

Kwitonda assumed to have doubled his team's lead in the 76th minute after heading home a cross from teammate Stephen Wakanya but the center referee quickly struck of the goal for offside.

Super sub

Sydney Ochieng was then introduced into the fray in the 81st minute to replace captain James Situma, who limped out of the filed with an injury.

The substitute all but  ensured a win for Tusker in the dying minutes through a sublime free kick to send his team to second in the log table.

Starting XI: 23.Mustapha Oduor 26.Festus Okiring (13.Dennis Ongeri, ) 16.HillaryWandera 28.Brian Otieno 34.Vincent Ngesa C) 02. Stephen Wakanya  12.Luke Namanda (21.Brian Yakhama)  24.Lawrence Juma 32.Victor Omondi 08.Edger Nzano 33.Elvis Rupia ( Patrick Kwitonda),

Unused subs: 15.Humphrey Katasi 14.Edwin Wafula 22.Elvis Ronack 03.Collins Odawa 

Starting XI: Duncan Ochieng, Martin Kizza, James Situma, Lloyd Wahome, Eugine Asike, Cercidy Okeyo, Danson Kago (Boniface Muchiri.), Allan Wanga, Brian Osumba, Humphrey Mieno, Noah Wafula,

Subs: David Okello, Marlon Tangauzi, Sydney Ochieng, Luis Tera, Abdul Hassan, Stephen Owusu,

 

Michy Batshuayi came off the bench to score twice as Chelsea fought back from behind to win a six-goal thriller against Watford.

Chelsea were on the back foot for much of this contest at Stamford Bridge but two goals from Batshuayi, either side of an 87th-minute header from Cesar Azpilicueta, snatched the champions a much-needed 4-2 victory.

For a while, Chelsea looked on course for a third straight Premier League loss when Abdoulaye Doucoure and Roberto Pereyra's goals put Watford 2-1 up before Batshuayi and then Azpilicueta instigated the turnaround. Batshuayi added his second in stoppage time.

Chelsea also had the officials to thank after Pedro's opener, a superb long-range strike, came from a corner that should not have been given.

That will be of little significance to Antonio Conte, however, whose relief was palpable when he celebrated Azpilicueta's goal by diving in amongst the Chelsea fans. This was his team's first victory in four matches in all competitions.

They were certainly flattered by the scoreline as Watford dominated for large spells and Marco Silva will rue his side's wasteful finishing. Richarlison squandered two excellent chances, the second of which would have put his team two to the good.

Chelsea's victory means they leapfrog Watford in the table, who started the game above their opponents in fourth.

Any early Chelsea nerves were settled by an opening goal that began with a large slice of fortune and ended with a brilliant long-range strike.

Assistant referee Andrew Halliday awarded a corner when the ball clearly came off Hazard's foot last and Chelsea took it quickly, Hazard playing to the edge of the box where Pedro whipped his shot first time off the far post and into the corner.

The champions were temporarily buoyant and Cesc Fabregas should have doubled their advantage when played through one-on-one soon after but his chipped finish plopped into the grateful hands of Heurelho Gomes.

For large parts of the first period, however, Watford were the ones in control and it was no more than they deserved when Doucoure equalised just before the break.

Jose Holebas trundled over from the opposite side of the pitch to launch a long throw into the box and while David Luiz met the header, the ball dropped down for Doucoure to drill in his fourth league goal of the season.

Watford came out all guns blazing and could have scored three in the first 10 minutes. Richarlison missed two sitters, one at the back post, which he side-footed wide and then another with his head, skewing past the far post from five yards.

That should have made it 3-1 because in between Pereyra made no mistake as this time Richarlison turned provider, receiving from Deeney and squaring to his unmarked teammate to steer past Thibaut Courtois.

Chelsea were on the ropes but Watford failed to land a knockout blow and later paid the price.

Batshuayi, on for the booked Alvaro Morata, made the difference as he darted across Miguel Britos and headed Pedro's cross into the far corner to pull his side level with 21 minutes left. Chelsea now looked the more likely to snatch a late winner and Batshuayi almost grabbed it, only to fire over on the turn after a quick free kick from Fabregas.

But it came moments later. Willian, also off the bench, crossed and Christian Kabasele flicked to the back post where Azpilicueta was waiting to nod in. There was still time for a fourth in stoppage time as Britos conceded possession and Batshuayi pounced to round off the victory.

 

Champions!! That is the latest name of Gor Mahia FC  after bagging their sixteenth league title following a 1-0 victory over Ulinzi Stars on Saturday October 21 at the Kericho Green Stadium.

 Meddie Kagere sealed the win for Ko'galo just fifteen minutes into the game, handling teammate Francis Kahata's  through ball with precise skill to put it past keeper Timothy Odhiambo for his eleventh league goal of the season.

Timothy Odhiambo however did well to prevent Ulinzi from going further behind just minutes later with a nice save to deny top scorer Jacques Tuyisenge from heading the ball into the net.

In the 25th minute, Gor's supremacy showed once again after George 'Blackberry' Odhiambo found his way past two defenders and took a shot but his goal-bound effort was unluckily cut off by defender Hassan Mohammed.

The Soldiers sought to reply with attacks of their own but Samuel Onyango's blast in the 34th minute and Omar Mbongi's free-kick four minutes were unable to trouble custodian Fredrick Onyango.

Ulinzi coach Benjamin Nyangweso then made two quick changes after the break, introducing rookie Ibrahim Shambi and Daniel Waweru for Boniface Onyango and Cliff Kasuti respectively in a bid to rejuvenate his side.

Kagere missed a glorious chance to complete a brace in the 51st minute after seeing his shot go wide with only the keeper standing  between him and the net.

Gor Mahia were able to preserve the slim lead till the final whistle for an important win which all but seals the league trophy for a record sixteenth time. The league leaders now have 66 points, seventeen points ahaead of second placed Sofapaka with only four matches remaining.

Gor Mahia Starting XI: 1.Fredrick Onyango, 5. Musa Mohammed, 18. Haron Shakava, 4.Wellington Ochieng, 2. Godfrey Walusimbi, 30. Philemon Otieno, 10. Kenneth Muguna, 8. Francis Kahata, 25. George Odhiambo, 22. Meddie Kagere, 9. JacquesTuyisenge

Subs: 16. Shaban Odhoji, 7. Jean Baptiste, 27. Anthony Mbugua, 14. Innocent Wafula, 20. Earnest Wendo, Joachim, 19. Jeconia Uyoga

 

Kenyan Premier League sides Tusker FC and Nzoia United have named their respective starting lineups that will clash on Saturday October 21 at the Sudi Stadium from 15:00.

Below is how the teams will array themselves:

Nzoia Starting XI: 23.Mustapha Oduor 26.Festus Okiring 16.Hillary Wandera 28.Brian Otieno  34. Vincent Ngesa (C) 02. Stephen Wakanya  12.Luke Namanda  24.Lawrence Juma 32.Victor Omondi 08.Edger Nzano 33.Elvis Rupia,

Subs: 15.Humphrey Katasi 14.Edwin Wafula 22.Elvis Ronack 03.Collins Odawa 13.Dennis Ongeri 21.Brian Yakhama  18.Patrick Kwitonda

Tusker Starting XI: Duncan Ochieng, Martin Kizza, James Situma, Lloyd Wahome, Eugine Asike, Cercidy Okeyo, Danson Kago, Allan Wanga, Brian Osumba, Humphrey Mieno, Noah Wafula,

Subs: David Okello, Marlon Tangauzi, Sydney Ochieng, Luis Tera, Abdul Hassan, Stephen Owusu, Boniface Muchiri.

 

Gor Mahia head coach Dylan Kerr has named his starting lineup that will take on Ulinzi Stars on Saturday October 21 at the Kericho Green Stadium.

A win today will see Gor all but secure their sixteenth premier league title.

Below is how the team will line up.

Starting IX: 1.Fredrick Onyango, 5. Musa Mohammed, 18. Haron Shakava, 4.Wellington Ochieng, 2. Godfrey Walusimbi, 30. Philemon Otieno, 10. Kenneth Muguna, 8. Francis Kahata, 25. George Odhiambo, 22. Meddie Kagere, 9. JacquesTuyisenge

Subs: 16. Shaban Odhonji, 7. Jean Baptiste, 27. Anthony Mbugua, 14. Innocent Wafula, 20. Earnest Wendo, Joachim, 19. Jeconia Uyoga

 

They gave everything to see it out. They were quick to the ball, strong in the challenge and absolutely determined not to let there to be a dramatic late twist. And, finally, Huddersfield Town could soak in the euphoria of a win against Manchester United, their first since March 1952, and one of those rare occasions when their supporters must have felt like the blood in their veins had been converted to red wine.

Michy Batshuayi came off the bench to score twice as Chelsea fought back from behind to win a six-goal thriller against Watford.

Chelsea were on the back foot for much of this contest at Stamford Bridge but two goals from Batshuayi, either side of an 87th-minute header from Cesar Azpilicueta, snatched the champions a much-needed 4-2 victory.

For a while, Chelsea looked on course for a third straight Premier League loss when Abdoulaye Doucoure and Roberto Pereyra's goals put Watford 2-1 up before Batshuayi and then Azpilicueta instigated the turnaround. Batshuayi added his second in stoppage time.

Chelsea also had the officials to thank after Pedro's opener, a superb long-range strike, came from a corner that should not have been given.

That will be of little significance to Antonio Conte, however, whose relief was palpable when he celebrated Azpilicueta's goal by diving in amongst the Chelsea fans. This was his team's first victory in four matches in all competitions.

They were certainly flattered by the scoreline as Watford dominated for large spells and Marco Silva will rue his side's wasteful finishing. Richarlison squandered two excellent chances, the second of which would have put his team two to the good.

Chelsea's victory means they leapfrog Watford in the table, who started the game above their opponents in fourth.

Any early Chelsea nerves were settled by an opening goal that began with a large slice of fortune and ended with a brilliant long-range strike.

Assistant referee Andrew Halliday awarded a corner when the ball clearly came off Hazard's foot last and Chelsea took it quickly, Hazard playing to the edge of the box where Pedro whipped his shot first time off the far post and into the corner.

The champions were temporarily buoyant and Cesc Fabregas should have doubled their advantage when played through one-on-one soon after but his chipped finish plopped into the grateful hands of Heurelho Gomes.

For large parts of the first period, however, Watford were the ones in control and it was no more than they deserved when Doucoure equalised just before the break.

Jose Holebas trundled over from the opposite side of the pitch to launch a long throw into the box and while David Luiz met the header, the ball dropped down for Doucoure to drill in his fourth league goal of the season.

Watford came out all guns blazing and could have scored three in the first 10 minutes. Richarlison missed two sitters, one at the back post, which he side-footed wide and then another with his head, skewing past the far post from five yards.

That should have made it 3-1 because in between Pereyra made no mistake as this time Richarlison turned provider, receiving from Deeney and squaring to his unmarked teammate to steer past Thibaut Courtois.

Chelsea were on the ropes but Watford failed to land a knockout blow and later paid the price.

Batshuayi, on for the booked Alvaro Morata, made the difference as he darted across Miguel Britos and headed Pedro's cross into the far corner to pull his side level with 21 minutes left. Chelsea now looked the more likely to snatch a late winner and Batshuayi almost grabbed it, only to fire over on the turn after a quick free kick from Fabregas.

But it came moments later. Willian, also off the bench, crossed and Christian Kabasele flicked to the back post where Azpilicueta was waiting to nod in. There was still time for a fourth in stoppage time as Britos conceded possession and Batshuayi pounced to round off the victory.

 

Unified world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has predicted that he will knock out his opponent Carlos Takam in their fight in 8 days from now on October 28 at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.

The Everton fan who appeared to try and strike a Lyon player could land his club a Uefa sanction, while Ashley Williams may face punishment too following the ugly scenes in Thursday’s Europa League tie.

Williams instigated a fracas in front of the Howard Kendall Gwladys Street End midway through the second half at Goodison Park when he barged into Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes.

A melee involving players from both sides ensued and moved to the advertising hoardings, where one Toffees fan, who was holding a child with one arm, pushed Lopes in the head before hitting out at him again.

While that was occurring, Williams seemed to raise his hand to Lucas Tousart’s face, yet the only initial outcome of the skirmish was a booking for Everton’s captain-for-the-night and Lyon’s match-winner Bertrand Traore.

Speaking after the Toffees’ 2-1 loss, Williams told BT Sport 2 of the scuffle: “It’s what happens, it’s football. It is what it is.

“It’s high emotions. We want to win the game, they want to win the game and stuff happens. That was just one of those times.”

Yet retrospective action could be forthcoming from Uefa, for both Williams and the club, a possibility ex-Premier League referee Graham Poll deems likely.

“Ashley Williams and Everton will surely face further sanction from Uefa once video evidence is studied,” he said in the Daily Mail.

“Williams totally lost the plot.

“There were numerous players from both teams involved in the melee behind the Lyon goal and even a fan from the Everton section at the Gwladys Street End became involved — first pushing then appearing to aim a punch at a Lyon player.

“The fact that a couple of Everton backroom staff had to enter the field to calm Williams down showed how out of control the captain was and, while their intervention helped, they should not enter the field of play.

“The Uefa delegate and referee’s observer will have met with the official after the game and discussed their findings before submitting individual reports. Unless the referee ill-advisedly says he saw everything, sanctions really must follow.”

It was the referee, Bas Nijhuis, who under-fire Toffees manager Ronald Koeman blamed for his players losing their cool during a defeat which leaves them facing Europa League elimination having taken just one point from three games.

“I think the irritation grows in the game for our players and in my opinion that was the problem by the referee,” Koeman argued.

“The referee was Dutch but he didn’t do anything against the theatre of some of the Lyon players. (Nabil) Fekir in the first half dived 10 times.

“I understand with my players, that comes out of frustration.”

It compounded another miserable night for Everton and Koeman, who is under mounting pressure with his team having won just two of their previous dozen fixtures.

“I think the performance was under the level in the first half — a lot of mistakes, a lot of doubts, players without any confidence,” he said.

 

The UEFA Champions League continues on Wednesday October 18 with a total of eight matches from four groups set to be played in venues across Europe.

Below is a list of all fixtures (All times are in EAT)

GROUP A

Benfica 21:45 Manchester United

CSKA Moscow 21:45 FC Basel

GROUP B

Bayern Munich 21:45 Celtic

RSC Anderlecht 21:45 Paris Saint Germain

GROUP C

FK Qarabag 21:00 Atlético Madrid

Chelsea 21:45 Roma

GROUP D

Barcelona 21:45 Olympiakos

Juventus 21:45 Sporting Lisbon

 

Hours after sacking manager Craig Shakespeare, Leicester City Vice Chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha has sought to clarify on their decision to do so.

Shakespeare's sacking comes just four months  into a three-year contract that he had been given after following a successful spell in caretaker charge.

 “ Craig has been a great servant to Leicester City – during his spells as an Assistant Manager and since taking over as Manager in challenging circumstances in February,'' Srivaddhanaprabha was quoted by the Mirror.

“However, our early promise under Craig’s management has not been consistently evident in the months since and the Board feels that, regrettably, a change is necessary to keep the Club moving forward – consistent with the long-term expectations of our supporters, Board and owners.

“Craig is and will remain a very popular, respected figure at Leicester City and will be welcome back at King Power Stadium in future, both professionally and as a friend of the Club.”

Leicester are third from bottom, with six points from eight games, and Michael Appleton, Shakespeare’s assistant, has been asked to take charge of the team for Saturday’s game at Swansea

 

Manchester City attacker Kevin de Bruyne has come out to explain his argument on the pitch with teammate David Silva during their side's 2-1 win over Napoli.

As the two teams were heading towards the tunnel for the half-time break, De Bruyne attempted to speak with the fourth official before being pulled away by Fernandinho and Silva. The Belgium international then took it with Silva and was overheard angrily shouting ‘let me talk’ three times before he turned towards the tunnel in frustration.

 “We had a little discussion at the time, it happens,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong, after one minute then it’s over.

“I think at home I also get into some arguments with my wife, I think it’s normal.

“I think it’s necessary. But now everything is okay.

“It’s just what happens sometimes, you have a collision of words, there was nothing big about it.”

 

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has been talking about Harry Kane at his press conference on Monday.

The England forward has been linked with a big-money to the reigning Champions League winners and asked whether we would  see Kane at Real Madrid, the Frenchman replied: “I do not know what will happen in the future.

“He is a key player for Tottenham He is very good at everything, the best thing is that he always has the goal in his head.”

Zidane was speaking before Tuesday’s Champions League clash between the clubs. Spurs travel to the Bernabeu on Tuesday night with Kane looking to add to the 10 goals in 11 games he has plundered already this season.

Tottenham have always maintained that Kane is not for sale at any price, but Dario Gol last week claimed Madrid were prepared to offer a deal with €200m with as many as three Real players involved.

Karim Benzema and former Spurs stars Gareth Bale and Luka Modric were the players named who may be offered in exchange for Kane, but for now the England man remains focused on Tottenham.

Kane has shown no desire to leave Tottenham, but given he is yet to taste trophy success with the club, and given he’s at the top of Tottenham’s wages payment ceiling at £100,000 a week, the player may well be tempted if Real showed their colours.

Discussing whether he would ever play abroad, Kane recently said: “I would never say no or yes. You’d not rule out anything.

“It’s not something I definitely want to do, but you never rule anything out.

 

“I’m very happy here (at Tottenham), but we’ll see what happens.”

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Kenyanstar: Thank you for your time. Tell us about your football journey so far.

John Ndirangu: I started playing competitive football at Nakuru AllStars when I was in form 2, by then the club was in playing in Nationwide League. I was with them all along, even when they got promoted in 2014 to the Kenya Premier League.  As a footballer, I have faced both difficult and easy times.

KS: Where did this nickname Softie come from?

JN: I rarely talk too much, and people say my face is soft. So, Softie.

KS: Please tell us about your time at Nakuru AllStars.

JN: It was a bit hard for me since there were the demands on the pitch and at the same time I was schooling. I had to carefully plan my time. However, sometimes it was difficult for me because I had to leave school for training and when I got back to class I was so tired and couldn't focus fully.  

KS: You made a name for yourself  while you were at Allstars. Tell us about your time playing there and your relationship with the players, coach, management etc.

JN: First, I would like to thank Robert Muthomi. He took me as his son, he took care of me,he used to advise me and  managed me well. I also thank everyone who coached me. During my time there, I learnt something from all coaches and this made me grow to who I am today. My teammates were also supportive, as football is a team sport and you support each other. 

KS: You would later join Bandari. However, you never stayed there for long...

JN: I would not wish to discuss about my time at Bandari. It was very difficult for me.

KS: What exactly affected you?

JN: Lack of play time.

KS: Well, you at one point joined Kariobangi Sharks. What necessitated the move?  

JN: After Bandari I went back to Nakuru Allstars to get my form back. However, at the end of the season the team got relegated and so we agreed with Robert Muthomi, the CEO,  that since I had already made my name and was still young, it wasn't proper to play in the lower tier. Therefore I joined Kariobangi Sharks. We agreed with President Nick Mwendwa that if the team won't get promoted to the top league he releases me and that's what happened when I joined AFC Leopards.

KS: Leopards - You joined the club, lots of expectations, but left. Kindly tell us about your time at Leopards.

JN: I enjoyed my time at Leopards and would like to thank the management and coaches. They believed in me and I wish them all the the best. In December, I was asked by Leopards to look for a suitable club where I would go on loan and I felt it was not good for me. Therefore I  asked them to just release me instead. As a team last season we were unlucky not to do well and meet the expectations but I personally think that I played my part and was very surprised when they suggested a loan move for me in the transfer window. 

KS: You have some serious football skills. Very good running, very good dribbles. What's the tactical secret for you?

JN: Apart from talent in me I do watch skillful players like Neymar, Ronaldinho and Cristiano and try apply what I see on the pitch. Besides, I also work very hard.  

KS: Harambee Stars: You have grown from U-23 to the senior team. Tell us about your time and experience so far at Stars

JN: Each and every coach has his style of coaching and the kind of players he wants. I think during Bob Williamson's time I was called several times to the national team. He liked my dribbling skills and speed and he would tell me to just do that in the pitch, since that is what made him like me and give me a call up.  

KS: We haven't seen you at the national team in recent days. Why?

JN: As I have said each and every coach has his style of coaching and kind of players he wants. However, while at AFC Leopards I earned a call up.  

KS: You made what many call a 'daring move' by switching from Leopards to Gor. Do you feel it was a daring move or just any other normal transfer?

JN: I believe if you have talent and you work hard everything is possible. Talent can never be hidden. Kama unajua unajua. For me I see it as a normal move. My time will come and I'll shine.

KS: Gor Mahia - How is life there. What are your targets/goals?

JN: I am enjoying life at Gor. They do things professionally and think that's what differentiates Gor with other clubs. My target is to play as many games and help the team lift the title and in future I go to Europe. 

KS: You have been accused of the following: Missing training at times intentionally, partying a little too much and alcoholism. Your response?

JN: In life you must have friends and enemies and for you to make in life you must have enemies. All these stories came up when I was at Leopards. When Ivan Minnaert left a Luhya coach took over and he only wanted Luhya players. Therefore, Ian otieno and  I decided to stay at home because no matter how hard we worked in training, we weren't being considered.  On the issue of alcohol, I even cannot tell how it tastes. Yes, I used to go to clubs and watch football while drinking Delmonte juice.  

KS: Any closing words? 

JN: I just want to thank God for the gift of life and talent. I also want to tell my fans that they should  not lose hope in me. I know they believe in me and I won't fail them. 

KS: Thanks for your time Softie!

 

READ: John 'Softie' Ndirangu: Major Transfer Or Forced Out? 

Rayon Sports Club have confirmed that former Sofapaka and Amavubi goalkeeper Evariste Mutuyimana is no more. Unconfirmed reports claim that a heart attack on Tuesday September 12 at his home was the cause of his death.

Mutuyimana started professional football with Rwandese side Kiyovu Sport before joining Police Kibungo in 2011.The 26-year old then moved to Kenyan side Sofapaka in June 2014 where he played for three seasons. He later moved to Rayon SC, where he was the reserve goalkeeper until his demise.

Mutuyimana has also featured for the Rwanda national team, his most notable appearance being in a 5-1 loss to Tunisia in an International Friendly back in May 2012.

“As Rayon Sports officials, we want convey our message of condolences to all the club fans and family following the death of goalkeeper Evariste Mutuyimana this Tuesday morning.” his club posted on social media.

 

Following the news that Serena Williams was two months pregnant when she won the Grand Slam, Rev. Fred Nile MP, has called for the world champion to be stripped of the title, claiming “foetal personhood” means she was unfairly advantaged.

“She was playing doubles in a singles tournament!” Nile screamed at the ‘Day of the Unborn Child’ protest.

“I believe that ‘life at conception’ should be the law, and that clearly means two people won the Grand Slam,” said Nile, who is both an avid fan of professional tennis and aggressively campaigning to legislate how people use their uterus.

“That’s clearly against the rules!”

However, feminists argue Nile’s view that pregnancy is a sporting advantage shows ignorance to the realities facing those who are pregnant.

“Serena Williams was in control of her own body during the Grand Slam tournament, and as such has the right to her title, and the right, always, to bodily autonomy”, said Immy Grantson, an outspoken activist campaigning for progress on women’s issues.

“Williams, like all people, has the right to choose what she does with her body: whether that be powerful backhands, and/or be pregnant”, said Grantson.

This comes at a crucial time in New South Wales legislation. Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi’s End12 Campaign hopes to make it legal for world class athletes to choose whether or not they are pregnant.

When asked for comment by The Garter Press, Venus Williams, who lost to Serena Williams under the now contentious circumstances, said she was “excited to be an aunt”.

Tanzanian government have informed SportPesa Limited that they also want to see a Tanzanian team play against Everton on July 12 at the National Stadium. Gor Mahia are the ones with the opportunity after winning the SportPesa Super Cup finals.

Director of Sports Development in the Ministry of Information, Youth, Culture and Sports Yusuph Singo confirmed that they have asked the betting firm to organize a friendly match between Everton and one of Tanzania's bigwigs.

``We have asked them (SportPesa) to organse a special friendly match between Yanga and Simba later this month,'' said Singo.

``If all goes well, the winner of the match will confront Everton at the National Stadium. I am sure many local soccer fans would like to see the English Premier League team face one of the top teams in the country,'' he added.

 

Former Inter Milan midfielder McDonald Mariga has come out to praise the Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino for the key role he has paid in developing the career of his brother Victor Wanyama.  

The Kenyan International skipper has been a vital part of the Spurs midfield, prove of just how much Pochettino trusts Wanyama. Big Vic first played under the Argentine gaffer at Southampton and were later reunited at Tottenham last summer.

“He (Wanyama) said Pochettino is the coach who has made him. He’s the one who, when Victor came to Southampton, he taught him what to do and how to play, all the things. He’s the one who taught him everything and made even more qualities for Victor. He gave him exposure and confidence. If you don’t have confidence from the coach, you cannot perform well. He’s helped him a lot,” Mariga told ESPN.

Pochettino’s favorite 3-4-2-1 formation has suited Wanyama perfectly as he provides cover to the wing backs when they move forward to attack, something that has put Wanyama in favor with both the manager and the Spurs supporters.

The midfielder will be expected to take his spot back in the starting XI for the FA Cup semi-final meeting with Chelsea at Wembley this Saturday evening after a minor injury.

As the title race stiffens and Spurs still on track for the cup glory, Wanyama may just be the rock Tottenham needs to win the first trophy in over years.

Everton are considering a pre-season friendly in Tanzania as part of their expected new sponsorship deal with SportPesa.

Former Arsenal and Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor has described joining Crystal Palace as the “worst decision” of his career.

The 33-year-old Togolese striker is currently playing for Turkish side ?stanbul Ba?ak?ehir after being released by the Eagles in the summer of 2016.

Adebayor signed a six-month deal with Palace at the beginning of 2016 – a decision he says he would reverse if given the opportunity.

“I had some great experiences in England in clubs who are among the best in the country,” he told L’Équipe, as reported by the Daily Mirror.

“I was happy there, my family too. The only error that I made was to sign for Crystal Palace in January 2016.

“I did it just to please my entourage, who were saying to me: ‘Manu, you have to start playing again!’ It was the worst decision of my career.”

He would played 15 senior matches for Palace under then boss Alan Pardew scoring once in a losing effort to Watford.

It turned out to be his worst return for a single club since turning professional nearly 20 years ago with hometown side AC Merlan Lome.

Prior to relocating to Selhurst Park, the enigmatic centre-forward had already plied his trade with three different English clubs, most notably Arsenal from whom he joined Manchester City before returning to North London with Tottenham Hotspur.

In his first season with Ba?ak?ehir, the former Monaco man, has managed to register six goals across 11 league appearances including a hat-trick against Galatasaray.

 

Work has been completed on the first proposed venue for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar - the Khalifa International Stadium. More than five years before the tournament kicks off, Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) has confirmed extensive renovations on the 40,000-seater venue are now finished.

The renovations include the installation of revolutionary cooling technology promised during Qatar's successful bid, which will keep the pitch at an optimum 26 degrees and the stands somewhere between 24 and 28 degrees.

SC secretary general H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi said: "The completion of our first stadium more than five years before the Qatar World Cup begins is an important milestone that reflects our determination to deliver a tournament the entire Arab world is proud to be a part of.

"As we promised in our bid, our innovative stadiums offer an unrivalled experience to fans and players alike. I'm proud we can show these off to the world and welcome fans with the hospitality this World Cup will be remembered for."

The stadium, originally constructed in 1976, will first host the 2017 Emir Cup final on Friday and will also be the venue for the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships.

Qatar Football Association (QFA) president Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani added: "Khalifa International Stadium is close to Qatari hearts and has seen some of Qatar's biggest sporting occasions over the years since it was first launched in 1976.

"It is therefore a fitting venue for the biggest match of Qatar's football calendar, the 2017 Emir Cup final between Al Rayyan and Al Sadd, and we look forward to welcoming fans into the magnificent remodelled stadium on Friday evening."

Drogba had been without a club since leaving MLS outfit Montreal Impact in November, after rejecting a move to Brazilian giants Corinthians in February.

However, the 39-year-old Ivorian striker has finally found a home in Phoenix, where he will also be part of their "MLS expansion franchise ownership group."

Phoenix are in their fourth season in the USL, 12th in the Western Conference with one win after three games.

"I have taken my time in deciding what I wanted to do next and am really excited about the opportunity at Phoenix Rising FC," said Drogba.

"After seeing firsthand the potential for expansion of the sport in North America and getting to know the ownership group in Phoenix, I am convinced that I can help them develop their organization on and off the pitch.

"I look forward to their continued success in the USL, and no city is better positioned than Phoenix for expansion into the MLS."

Drogba - a two-time African Footballer of the Year – scored 23 goals in 41 competitive appearances for the Impact, having won four Premier League titles and the Champions League among other trophies with Chelsea.

"We want our club and our city to be synonymous with international excellence, and Didier Drogba is a testament to Phoenix Rising FC's commitment to that mission,” said Phoenix Rising club governor Berke Bakay.

"Soccer is an international language understood by sports fans all over the world, and we want to help inspire fluency among new fans everywhere we play throughout North America."

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