Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Tusker on the road





I am back on sporting duty after spending my Christmas on the road - 400 plus kilometres from Nairobi to Kisumu and then back and another 500 kilometres to Mombasa and still 500 to go to get home.

At each destination I felt compelled to say "thank you" to Tusker, the beer, for sponsoring the Kenyan Premier League and sponsoring the champions who won the title two years in a row. I hope you know what I mean by saying "thank you".

I am a responsible drinker and I never drink and drive so when I called this blog "Tusker on the Road", I hope you didn't get the wrong impression.

KPL champions Tusker FC have spent much of the past few weeks on the road, either training or playing friendly and competitive matches in readiness for next season. Friendly victories against Tanzanian power-houses Yanga and Simba have been more than any Tusker fan could dream of.

Here is the first club to win the modern-day KPL title two years in a row and yet they aren't sitting on their laurels.

As soon as the league ended coach Robert Matano flew to Uganda to "watch" the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup. While we were all just enjoying the games, he was scouting. That scouting has seen him sign Robert Omnuk, Andrew Sekayombya, Khalid Awucho and Martin Kiiza to beef up his squad. He never stopped there.

Bringing in Jesse Were and Andrew Tololwa from Mathare was ingenious, not to mention Moses Arita from Thika United. Several other playings, including some Nigerians, have linked up with the champions as well.

Very smart signings indeed, although I often wonder about clubs being ungrateful to players who win them trophies by signing others for the next season. It always happens when teams are promoted and then players who won them promotion are dropped in favour of those with experience, but that's football.

Even though Tusker has won the league two years in a row, they have failed to make any impact regionally, under Ceacafa or in the Champions league. Last year Tusker were bundled out of the Caf Champions League by APR and then went on to have the worst Cecafa ever. They did not score a single goal in the regional tournament after winning it in 2008, which was clearly too much for the club owner to take.

So, with this is mind, Matano had no choice but to go player hunting and signing. I think he's done a good job. Tusker are currently paticipating in the Zanzibari Mapinduzi tournament but, regardless of the outcome there, they have prepared well.

It's so important to see clubs playing friendlies during the off season, especially when they have made so many signings. Now is the time to see who will be in the first team, which players perform better with each other and possibly see whether some players need to switch positions and so on.

Most KPL clubs resume training this week and I fear it may be a little late. Tusker will hopefully come back from Zanzibar and do quite a bit of light training so the players don't kick off the season suffering from fatigue.

Gor Mahia will tell you that starting the season suffering from fatigue as they did last season is not pretty. In fact Gor cancelled their usual December Nyanza tour because of the damage it did early in the 2012 season.

Tusker already have some crucial injuries and I hope the club is taking note that, after Zanzibar, they need to slow down a little.

Overall I think Tusker has done well on the road this past December and I wish their exploits pay off well beyond the league this season.


Recent columns


All Columns


Print

Comments

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Carol Radull
Fitting curtain raiser for the EPL
Arsene Wenger’s attempts to beat Jose Mourinho have finally born fruit with a thrilling curtain...

John Dykes
Londoners to capitalise on pre-season
On Sunday, Wembley Stadium will once again host a game of football that isn’t all we think it is.

Segun Odegbami
Predicting the EPL winners
We are moments away from the start of the European football season. So, let’s look at the teams...

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
Premier League preview - part 1
Maybe it is a sign of my age, or an indication of how the last two seasons have been for the club I...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Ref's job becoming more difficult
What you are about to read may sound like I’m stating the obvious, but it’s true.

Sunday Oliseh
Super Eagles job: an uphill task worth taking
It is definitely the most delicate football job on the African continent and the most demanding.