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Kamau disappointed with age cheating at KPL U20 champs

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Harambee Stars U-20 head coach John Kamau during a past training session on April 23 in Nairobi. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 28- Harambee Stars Under-20 coach John Kamau says he is not pleased with cases of age cheating at the ongoing Kenyan Premier League under-20 championship which will be getting to the semi-final stages on Thursday.

Kamau has attended almost all matches at the Camp Toyoyo Ground and though he says he has managed to pick out several talented players for the national team, cases of teams bringing in over-aged players has deflated him.

“As far as the tournament is concerned, my feelings are mixed. If you look at what we are working on, we would really like to get the right age. We can’t say they are not the right age but if you look at the current situation, there are some you feel are somehow over age.”

“If we want to move forward as a country we must be honest to ourselves. This is the same thing that has been bringing us down,” the national team tactician told Capital Sport.

Several coaches, though off record have also expressed reservations with a number of teams and the players listed as being below 20 years of age.

Kamau however singled out teams which he says have taken the desire to bring in younger players to the latter.

Among those he says impressed him were Ulinzi Stars, Kakamega Homeboyz, Western Stima, Sony Sugar and Mathare United.

“In the midst of everything, there is always something right. I was very impressed with Ulinzi Stars because they are working with the right age and have a very good structure. I think they should be an example. They might have been eliminated but they were one of the best teams,” Kamau added.

With the national under-20 team being groomed for the 2019 African U23 Cup of Nations, Kamau has hinted they will be taking part in at least six training matches this year as well as looking at the possibility of playing in the COSAFA U20 Championships.

“I am very happy with what the federation has done seeing they are ready to spend on the juniors for friendly matches. That is one of the problems we have in Africa because not many federations want to commit funds to unders,” Kamau noted.

The team played a friendly against South Africa last month and was due to play another two-legged match against Cameroon which was later cancelled.

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