LIVERPOOL, United Kingdom, Nov 3 – Record Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia had their first training session in Liverpool, United Kingdom on Saturday morning, training at chilly conditions at Everton FC’s Finch Farm Training Ground under the tutelage of England National Team physical performance coach David Tivey.
It was a light, but tough session for the K’Ogalo players who were put through physical endurance tests by Tivey who also works for the Merseyside club as a consultant, as their performance levels were weighed against standard professional measures.
The team was split into two, each doing full length pitch runs five times as Tivey looked at their finishing times and measured them in terms of his own fitness parameters.
“It was a very tough session but I think what made it harder was the weather. It is very cold and most of us are not used to this kind. But it was a very good experience on a very good pitch,” skipper Harun Shakava said.
“But we have really enjoyed playing on the same ground that the likes of Wayne Rooney grew up playing in,” the defender further noted.
The players, out in their shorts and t-shirts in the 10 degrees weather were always on their feet to ensure they are warm, with the blowing winds not making it any easier.
“It is too cold, we are trying to keep up. It’s my first time ever in such kind of a weather and I am trying to get used. But I know I will, no big deal. I am happy to be here.. The likes of Walcott (Theo), Sigurdson (Gylfi) all train at this facility. It’s awesome,” striker Eliud Lokuwam told Capital Sport.
The team also re-united with head coach Dylan Kerr for the first time at Finch Farm with the tactician urging them on taking the physical tests under Tivey’s watchful eye.
Kerr was pleased with how the team put up, especially training in one of the best facilities in the country. The team however did not use the first team pitch, but used an adjacent 3-G pitch to do their first warm-up.
“I want to really urge Kenyan authorities to look at something like this and get ideas. If we had facilities like this, not all over the country but just a few, Kenyan football will be very far. Look at the players, they are enjoying. With all due respect, this is not anything like Camp Toyoyo, it’s a huge different thing,” Kerr said.
“I joined up with them this morning and they are all looking very excited, all wrapped up in warm jackets and now they are here all freezing. I am just happy that they are happy. Now this is their chance to put themselves out there. Even if one of them, just one, gets spotted, that’s brilliant for us,” the tactician further stated.
After the session, the team had lunch at the club’s cafeteria before heading out to Goodison Park to watch Everton take on Brighton in an English Premier League clash.
-Timothy Olobulu is reporting from United Kingdom-