KISUMU, Kenya, Aug 1 – The decision to do away with ‘light meals’ anjera and rice from their menu to more ‘hardened’ food like ugali has been the secret to a team from North Eastern region going all the way to the semi-finals of the national school games.
Boys Town from Garissa progressed to the semi-finals of the Copa Coca-Cola Under-16 championship with a 100pc record and their victory over pre-tournament favorites Dagoretti High School from Nairobi on Thursday perhaps turned more heads to just how tough the team is.
Speaking to Capital Sport after his side’s win over Dagoretti at the Kisumu Polytechnic, head coach Rodgers Wekesa has disclosed that his decision to reduce the intake of light meals has been the secret to their success.
“In 2017, we were at the nationals in Under-20 and we were beaten 13-0 by Kakamega High School after playing a very good first half. Last year, a team from our region also came and despite tying 1-1 at half time with Olblosat, they ended up losing 6-1,” Wekesa narrates.
“We went back as North Eastern and asked ourselves what the problem was. In this region we have a lot of football talent. You can see the footwork is there, the passes are there, but we lack one thing; endurance. We can play a brilliant first half but when we come in the second half, we don’t have strength,” further stated the coach.
He says; “We tried a very simple thing which might look silly, but we have seen how it has transformed our team. We changed our diet. You know in our region we are used to eating a lot of rice and anjera, but now we have started eating more of ugali and fish. It has become so popular that if you put rice on the table, the boys will refuse and ask for ugali.”
He says, looking at the players after the simple diet change, the difference is massive. This was visible against Dagoretti as they scored two second half goals to win 2-0 and defended with a lot of vigor to progress to their first ever Copa semi final.
The tactician as also said good preparations have seen the team do well. They have not dropped a single game since the zonal competitions and also won the Lenana High School invitational tournament before coming to the nationals.
“We train very well and we start from very early in the morning before the students go to class. In the evenings we play a lot of friendly games. We have very many FKF registered teams in the region and before coming here, we made sure we played all of them and I lost only once,” the tactician further states.
He has now warned anyone not to underrate them as they have the aim of going all the way to the final and clinching the title for the very first time in their history.
“Previously, people looked at teams from North Eastern as ones who come in to donate points. Now, we have come with a slogan that we mean business. We take each match at a time and I want us to go all the way to the final and take this Cup to Garissa,” he added
Boys Town will face off with Western Region’s Koyonzo in Friday’s semi-final.