Lynette Matheka @PeopleSport11
Coach Booker Odhiambo and his charges Kisumu Day have set their sights on clinching their maiden title when the Kenya Secondary School Sports Association (KSSSA) Term Two games kick off tomorrow in their backyard.
While enjoying home ground advantage and the drive of the football loving Kisumu residents who will cheer them throughout the tournament, the school faces stiff competition from debutants Mbooni Boys Western’s Ebwali and Nairobi’s Dagoretti in Pool B of boys’ U19 football.
The lakeside school, known for producing some of the best football talents in the country is making a comeback to the national games after missing the last three editions. To make it to this stage, they successfully appealed against Barding’s alleged fielding of ineligible players in the regional final where they had lost 2-0 in extra time.
In their last appearance, Kisumu Day lost in the semis to Pasenga and went on to finish third. The previous year, Odhiambo’s charges had lost in the final to champions Kakamega and went on to finish seventh in the East Africa games held in Tanzania that year.
“We have not been on this stage for a while but we are ready. We are in a tough pool but we will take one match at a time. We do not have a weak team as many might think as we had played Barding for a draw in the regional group stage and advanced to the semis top of the group. We will hold our own to win the title,” said coach Odhiambo.
Last year, the side lost to Ringa in the regional finals while they lost at the county level in 2017 and in the regional semis the previous year. “There was a change of guard in 2017 and as it is, there was a bit of restructuring and we started rebuilding and I am confident the current squad is ready to take on any opponent,” he added.
In the absence of defending champions Kakamega School, last year’s losing finalists Olbolsat, in pool A alongside St Antony Boys, Shimba Hill and North Eastern representatives will also be looking to achieve what they could not last year.
On paper, they have an easier pool and the experience gained in their maiden appearance where they went on to represent the country in the East Africa games held in Rwanda might go a long way in their fight for the title.