NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 27 – Two-time Standard Chartered Trophy ‘Road to Anfield’ champions Capital FM have been drawn in a tricky pool for the eighth edition set to be staged on Saturday at the St. Mary’s School in Nairobi.
Capital FM, who are the back-to-back 2016 and 17 winners, headlines Pool E where they will face debutants Madison Insurance, seasoned teams Metropolitan Canon, Zamara Actiaries, Simba Corporation and Pricewaterhouse Coopers.
The Best Mix of Music team who also lifted the 2016 World Trophy title at Anfield Stadium in United Kingdom to become the only African team to win the crown, will be out to reclaim the local title that they surrendered last year to Wanainchi Group.
A confident team captain Lassie Atrash acknowledged the pool will not be a walk in the park, calling on his charges to take each game like a final as they seek to maneuver through the group to the knock out phase.
“It is always a difficult tournament because every team wants to go to Anfield, so we anticipate a tough encounter, but we are ready for the challenge. Last year it didn’t go as per our plan, but we have another chance on Saturday to make amends,” Atrash underscored.
This year the annual tourney has attracted 51 teams, the highest ever with a further 43 playing in a separate tournament for Standard Chartered Bank staff.
The 51 teams have been spread across eight groups with the first three having seven teams each while the rest features six teams each with the media teams being seeded. The top two from each group proceed to the round of 16.
“This year we have the highest number of entries, this shows the tournament is growing. We are proud that Capital FM brought the world trophy home,so we hope that we will see that happening again this year. I hope all the teams have prepared well and I wish each one of them the best,” Dennis Sitieney from the Standard chartered Bank organising team said during the draw.
Nation Media Group have been thrown in the ‘Group of death’ where they will take on Deloitte, Vivo Energy, BAT Kenya, Sanlam Kenya, Total Kenya and Davis and Shirtliff in Pool A.
Wanainchi Group are the defending champions, but they will not fight to retain the title since they will not participate this year. They were eliminated in the quarter finals in Anfield at the World Trophy title by hosts United Kingdom who went on to lift the title.
This year the World Trophy will be played on May 13th at Anfield Stadium the home of English Premier League side Liverpool FC who will be hosting Wolverhampton Wanderers in their final match of the season the same date.
Road to Anfield Pools
Pool A: Nation Media Group, Deloitte, Vivo Energy, BAT, Sanlam, Total Kenya, Davis and Shirtliff,
Pool B: Standard Group, Getrudes Hospital, Scan Group, Gulf Energy, Uniliver, ICPAK, JH Piego Corporation
Pool C: Royal media Services, MP Shar Hospital, Bamburi Cement, Kenya Nut, USIU, Sanoti Aventies, Safaricom
Pool D: Radio Africa, AC Nelson, Resolution health, Blids Gulf, Jubilee Insurance, Catholic Relief Services
Pool E: Capital FM, Madison Insurance, Simba Corporation, Metropolitan Canon, Zamara Actiaries, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Pool F: Mediamax, EABL, AIG Kenya, Letshego, Nokia, Galana,
Pool G: Oil Libya, Copy Cat, Team Britam, Borrolle Cheeters, APHRC, General Electric
Pool H: Sama Source Kenya, Diagio, MFI, NAS Airport, Schneider Electric, Multichoice