|Kenya's Christopher Oruchum (left) in action in a COPA match against Tanzania in South Africa|
The 2012 COPA Coca-Cola international camp tournament springs to life on Monday with the inter-country games slated to kick off at St. Albans College in Pretoria, South Africa. A total of 9 teams will be fighting it out for this year’s honours where the games will be played in a round robin system with the team collecting the most number of points being declared tournament winners.
Kenya will be aiming at toppling their East African rivals Uganda and Tanzania in their first two encounters in the revised fixture list. The Kenya U17 team who are being referred to as Maasai Warriors will meet Uganda’s Young Warriors at 10am Kenyan time before battling with Tanzania’s Serengeti Boys two hours later. Their last assignment of the day will be a tough test against Nigeria’s Zion Boys at 3.30pm.
“The team is relaxed and the boys are ready to do their work,” said Coach Arthur Apiyo. “They have been impressive in training since we came here and the Chelsea coaches have really helped them tie up some lose ends over the last two days,” he said.
The Kenya U17 team were on Saturday and Sunday taken through training by the Chelsea FC coaches with the main focus being on how to attack and defend high, positioning and pressing the opposition.
“We’ve loved every bit of the training by the Chelsea coaches. If we put into practice what we have learned with them and we add what our coach Arthur has taught us, am sure we will be unbeatable,” said Kevin Otieno the team’s No. 1 rightback.
Meanwhile an official from South Africa Premier League side Supersport United has revealed that they will be keenly looking at two players from the Kenyan team. “We will be here from Monday when the games kick off scouting for talent from across the teams including Kenya,” said the official. “We are especially interested in two players, that is, Omar Mwinyi and Eugene Moses,” he revealed.
“We will also be looking at wing players very keenly especially the left wing,” added the official who requested for anonymity.
Eugene Moses is a Form 3 student at Muyeye high School in Malindi and plays in the defensive midfield position. He participated in the 2008 and 2009 Gothia Cup in Sweden and has also trained with Serie A side Genoa back in 2010. Eugene who also played in last year’s COPA Coca-Cola tournament likens his play to Tusker’s Crispin Olando.
His counterpart Omar Mwinyi, nicknamed ‘Samba’ thanks to his dribbling skills is 16 years and plays as a central striker. He is also a student at Muyeye High School and has played in COPA for the last four years. His role model is Gor Mahia’s Kevin Omondi and Barcelona’s Cesc Fabregas.
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