Lynette Matheka @PeopleSport11
Just as he did in his previous posting, football coach and principal Maurice Okumu is keen to make his new station, Dagoretti Mixed, a force to reckon with in the Kenya Secondary School Sports Association (KSSSA) games.
The school will make a maiden appearance in the KSSSA national games next week in Kisumu and they will do it in style.
They will field two girls’ football teams in the U19 and U16 categories after Okumu guided the two sides in dethroning his former school Olympic High at the regional games.
Okumu, who joined Dagoretti from Olympic in May last year embarked on a mission to create a formidable football side and, a year later, his efforts bore fruits as they lifted the Nairobi region title in June to book a slot in the national games that kick off on July 30 to August 3 at Kisumu Boys.
Okumu’s charges have landed Nyakack, Karugwa and Itigo in Pool A while Pool B has Gesero, Arch Bishop Njenga, defending champions Kwale and Njabini Secondary.
“We are not just going for the national title but planning for the East African games as well. This might be our first time at the nationals but we are not going to be participants. We are aiming for the sky and if we fail, we will land in the stars and we will regroup and come back stronger,” said Okumu.
Dagoretti left nothing to chance in their campaign to clinch their maiden regional titles as they beat Pangani Girls 5-2 for the U16 title and thrashing immediate former champions Olympic High 7-1 for the U19 title.
As the senior team targets the East Africa games set for Arusha later in August, the U16 team is not left behind as they have set their sight on a trip to Tanzania too where the Africa Cup competition is set to be held.
“Since May last year, we have prepared these teams for this stage. They have undergone both quality long term and short impact sessions. We have also played in various tournaments including the just concluded Wanyama Cup and that gives my players the confidence needed for this stage,” the coach said.
The debutantes are set to face stiff competition from reigning East Africa and national champions Kwale Girls who beat St John’s Kaloleni 1-0 to qualify for the national games.
Last year, Kwale beat Arch Bishop Njenga 4-1 for their maiden title in their second appearance at the games. The losing finalists are also set to be a thorn in Dagoretti’s ambition. Group stage opponents Nyakach and Itigo are not to be disregarded as they have been at the national level and come loaded with experience.