NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 22 – Dennis Ombachi, the man who took Kenya to its first ever Olympics in 2016 has made a return to the national team after being included in Shujaa’s training squad that entered the Kasarani bubble on Wednesday alongside veteran Collins Injera.
Ombachi has been out of the team for a while especially after previously voicing his concerns over alleged mismanagement of the national team affairs by the Union, but has now been assimilated back by coach Innocent ‘Namcos’ Simiyu.
Also included in the team is veteran Collins Injera who has been training with the team from last year, but has now seemingly hit the right fitness notes.
Meanwhile, play-maker Sammy Oliech is expected to be out for up to nine months after tearing his Achilles in the first week of training at last month’s Emirate Sevens in Dubai.
“It is a huge blow for him and we are all gutted. It is unfortunate because he had worked so hard to get back in the team and getting an injury in training is just unfortunate for him and us as a team. We will look at how we can get him a role in the team so he can interact with other young playmakers and just share his knowledge,” Simiyu told Capital Sport.
The tactician named a squad of 21 players that will be in the Kasarani bubble camp for eight days before leaving for Stellenbosch, South Africa where they will have a further two-week high-performance training camp involving three other teams.
The tactician has hinted that the team that will travel to South Africa will more or less bear the model of the squad that will represent Kenya at the Olympics and they will use the next tournament in France to fine tune for Tokyo.
Namcos has warned that no one is assured of a place in the team, noting that everyone has to work hard and show he deserves a place.
“We are very clear in regards to where we are going and what we expect. We want to assess the players from all footage and data we have collected over the last four tournaments and we will make the final decision before South Africa. The team to South Africa will more or less be the probable team to the Olympics,” Simiyu noted.
He added; “Everything is open. We run a very open system that is objective and is process based. There are certain standards everyone must meet to be in the team.”
Meanwhile, teams are expected to arrive in South Africa on 6th May, the first tournament will take place on 8th and 9th May while the second one will be held on 14th and 15th May.
Shujaa will be joined by Zimbabwe, Uganda, and the hosts South Africa at The Stellenbosch Academy of Sport for the training camp.
This camp is aimed at assisting teams that have already qualified for the Olympics and Olympics Repechage in their preparations for the event later this year in Tokyo.
Shujaa training squad:
William Ambaka, Vincent Onyala, Herman Humwa, Alvin Otieno, Dennis Ombachi, Harold Anduvate, Andrew Amonde, Bush Mwale, Daniel Sikuta, Jeffrey Oluoch, Collins Injera, Daniel Taabu, Johnstone Olindi, Tony Omondi, Billy Odhiambo, Alvin Marube, Nelson Oyoo, Mark Kwemoi, Levi Amunga, Derrick Keyoga, Jacob Ojee