NAIROBI, Kenya, June 10 – Despite giving his all to ensure the Kenya Sevens team retained its core status at the prestigious HSBC Sevens World Series, seasoned player Andrew Amonde has attributed the fight to teamwork displayed by his charges.
Amonde played a key role on and off the pitch especially in Paris where his experience counted to ensure Shujaa stay afloat in next seasons World Sevens Series, a competition they have featured since its inaugural in 1999-2000.
Heading to the final leg in Paris, Kenya needed to reach at-least Cup Quarters to assure themselves survival against Wales and Japan, after only managing to collect one point from the penultimate leg in London.
“It was collective work from the team, we backed up ourselves and we did it, we knew when we left the country what was at stake. After the London tour, reality checked on us about relegation because we only picked one point,” Amonde, a former Shujaa skipper revealed.
The 35-year-old added; “Going for Paris, we knew we had to go all out and get results, fortunately things went our way but its not the results we wanted. We were lucky to survive, and we thank God for it.”
“After we made it to the Cup Quarters, we were sure of survival and good thing is after Japan and Wales dropped to the Bowl In general, the season has been tough.”
Head coach, Paul Murunga, who had a rough season in his first term since being appointed the boss of the technical bench, pointed out the lack of experience as major downfall that saw the team only manage to reach one quarter-final in the 10 rounds they played.
“We are happy for the Paris 7s performance that ensured Kenya remain as a core status, the result was huge and meant a lot. In the better part of the season, we lacked experience from our seasoned players, but I am happy that we were able to expose and give a chance to new blood.
I have picked some lessons from this season’s performance one being that we need early preparations and more sponsors to come on board. The boys were ready for the challenge and we believed, we really wanted to win, facing Wales it meant we must beat them to survive.
Kenya will now shift attention to the 2020 Olympic Games qualifier slated for November in Johannesburg where the Shujaa will be out to seek to join South Africa as Africa representatives in the Summer Games.