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Friday, May 31, 2013

Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey Concludes Kenya Visit

Arsenal FC star midfielder Aaron Ramsey is confident that Kenya has the potential to produce world-class football talent. Ramsey, who has been on a private holiday in Kenya for the past week, said the country’s sporting pedigree is well documented and should be nurtured to achieve more success.

The Welsh midfielder was speaking to journalists after meeting young players from Ligi Ndogo who had paid him a courtesy call at Hemingways Nairobi in Karen.

The 22-year-old is the first active Arsenal player to visit Kenya in recent years. He jetted in on Saturday 25th May and proceeded to Diani in Mombasa and later to Ol Seki Hemingways Mara, which is owned by local hotel chain Hemingways Collection.

Hemingways Nairobi, the newest addition to the collection opened early May and has been billed as the Bentley of boutique hotels in the city. It seeks to set a new benchmark for fine dining and luxury accommodation in East Africa.

‘‘I have loved my stay here, enjoyed the wildlife at the Mara and the weather in Mombasa with my family. The hospitality has been first class and am definitely looking forward to coming back some time in the future,’’ said Ramsey.

Hemingways Watamu, established 23 years ago, is the oldest of the chain’s properties and is renowned for international deep-sea fishing. Ol Seki Hemingways Mara is a tented camp located in a private conservancy adjacent to the Mara National Game Reserve. The three properties present the chain’s unique Kenyan travel experience- Beach, Bush and Boutique.

On Kenya’s football talent, the Welsh midfield kingpin who began his career at promoted side Cardiff City said, “this country has already produced exemplary international footballers and I have confidence that with initiatives like Ligi Ndogo, more talent is being nurtured for the future.”
The budding players who got the opportunity to meet and even play against the Welsh midfielder before he flies back to United Kingdom were aged between 10 and 12 years.

“Am very excited to have met Ramsey who is one of my favourite players at Arsenal, the team that I support,” said Andrew Kalama, one of the Ligi Ndogo players.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

COPA Coca-Cola Tourney Enters Week 6 as Provincial Finals Draws Closer

Uprising FC players train before their COPA match in Iten

With the COPA Coca-Cola provincial finals barely a full month away, the U15 youth football spectacle enters its 6th week this weekend with 6 Football Kenya Federation (FKF) branches hosting their respective matches across the country.

South Coast, Lower Eastern, Garissa, Southern, and Western have a hectic schedule of matches on Saturday while South Rift will host the tourney a day later in Sotik Stadium.

In South Coast, table-topping duo Mombasa Heroes and Mombasa Stars will be gunning to continue their fine run of form when they tackle bottom sides Kaloleni Boys and Taita Stars respectively in Changamwe.

Taita, who are yet to collect a point, will play 3 matches on the day with their next two assignments coming in the shape of Ukunda Boys and Msambweni Boys, who will take on Kaloleni in their second match. The girls’ matches will pit Mombasa Ladies against Taita Queens who will also grapple against Kwale Queens.

Western branch matches will be staged in Butere, Mumias where Murhanda Boys will take upon the challenge of Bulimbo Academy while Ebusiratsi Boys will be at odds with Busia Olympic. Other matches will pit Kabras Juniors versus Bulimbo, Busia versus Murhanda and Butere against Ebusiratsi.

The girls’ fixtures will see Bulemia Senator Ladies take on Mukhombe Primary Girls who will play their second match against Murhanda ladies.

Other Fixtures

Lower Eastern – at Embu Stadium
Siakago v Karigini Boys
Tharaka Youth Olympic v Embu Youth
Black Cats v Karigini Boys
Nyangwa v Tharaka Youth Olympic
Black Cats v Siakago

C I Chuka v Muminji Starlets – in Chuka
Tharaka Youth Starlets v Embu Queens – at Siakago Grounds

Southern Branch – at Kitui High
Machakos All Stars v Kitui Township
Matinyani Juniors v Kasina
Machakos Uprising v Machakos All Stars
Machakos County Heroes v Kitui Township
Machakos Uprising v Kasina

Mukuyuni Red Shooters v Kyanika Girls
Makueni Red Shooters v Mwingi Girls

Garissa Branch – at Garissa Primary
Garissa Primary v Tetu Primary
Garissa Primary v Tumaini Primary

Jaribu Primary v FC Township
Iftin Primary v GC Young Stars

South Rift – on Sunday at Sotik Stadium
Keongo Youth v Legacy Academy
Kilgoris DEB v Bureti Young Stars
Bolosiche v Keongo Youth
Bureti Young Stars v Ujuzi Young Stars
Kilgoris DEB v Legacy Academy

Nyasita Girls v St. Marys Primary Girls
Konoin Starlets v Chebo Girls

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

AFC Leopards to Host 2013 Ingwe Fan Fest in Mid June

The 2nd edition of the Ingwe Fan Fest, a day set aside by Kenya Premier League side AFC Leopards to engage the club’s fans and their families in various experiential activities, is set to go down on Sunday June 16th at the Railways Club in Nairobi

With the local Premier League going into a 3- week break, CLAWS Trust will be hosting the event aimed at giving fans an opportunity to mingle and engage in various team building activities.

The festival which will start from 7a.m to 5pm will feature popular events like 7’s football, Newspaper race, Tug-of-war, 3-legged race, Sack race, Scavenger hunt, Egg race, ‘Drink in Pail’ contest, Backward race, Musical Chairs and Bouncy castle, a clown, face-painting for the children among others.

The team leader of the organizing Committee, Aidah Bunoro, said participation will be through branch registration at a fee of ksh, 3000 per branch, with guest teams been charged Ksh 500 more.

Leopard's 11 registered branches qualify to field teams in all the sporting events that will be on offer on the day. The branches will however be required to pre-register the names of their members who will take part in the different competitions.

“Our aim is to promote mutual exchange and friendship through a variety of offerings organized through close partnership of the fans and the media,” said Victor Bwibo a member of the Organizing committee and also the Trust’s Finance Secretary.

Corporate bodies, business and sports organizations have been invited to exhibit their products and services at the event that is expected to have an estimated attendance of 2000 persons.

Last year’s event that was held on 10th June saw Zimmerman branch win the 7 aside football tournament while Kawangware registered the overall best performance in all competitions. The two groups are expected to defend their titles against this year’s early entrants including the club’s Facebook Branch and Kenya Sports Journalists team.

More information on the event can be obtained by e-mailing clawstrust@ingwefans.com or calling the organizing Committee team leader, Aidah Bunoro, on phone number 0720597318

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Another Luis Alberto in the Bag for Liverpool?

According to respected Spanish journalist Guillem Balague, Liverpool are set to make FC Barcelona B striker Luis Alberto Romero their third signing after snapping Kolo Toure from Manchester City on a free transfer and Iago Aspas from Celta Vigo.

The Sky Sports Spanish football expert who is a close friend of former Liverpool coach Rafael Benítez revealed that the talented 20-year-old Seville youth product is likely to join the Merseyside club who seem to be going for early business before the busy summer transfer window officially opens on July 1st.

“Only thing that would stop Luis Alberto signing for Liverpool is if FCB activate a clause. But great football eye by Brendan and LFC,” revealed Balague (who is barely ever wrong) on one of his many Twitter updates about the player.

Cardiz-born Alberto currently plays for Barcelona B on loan from Sevilla where he started his career in 2004.  He made his senior debut for the Andalusian club in April 2011 but was only restricted to 7 appearances before he was loaned out to Barcelona B, FC Barcelona’s reserve team in August 2012.

Thirty five appearances and 11 goals have come since he joined the Catalonian reserve team while he’s also played for the Spain U18, U19 and U21 national teams.

The versatile 5ft11 Spaniard plays in the attacking midfield position but is also quite comfortable playing the ‘false center forward’ role or as a winger.

He is a player in the mould of Barca duo Xavi and Iniesta, but more of the latter. He has quick feet and is a fine dribbler with an eye for goal and will perfectly fit Liverpool’s policy of investing in young, talented players with high resale value. He could prove to be yet another marquee signing by Brendan Rodgers who is reaping the benefits of signing Philippe Coutinho, a player who was used sparingly by his former club Inter Milan but has set the Premier League alight with his jaw-dropping samba football.

Also believed to be on his way to Anfield is Celta Vigo forward Iago Aspas Juncal. The 25-year-old Spaniard is set to join Liverpool on a £8 million deal to be completed when the summer transfer window opens and pending personal terms and a medical. He has 136 appearances under his belt for the Os Celticos since getting promoted from the reserves in 2008 and scored 46 times.

He emerged second best scorer in the 2011-12 Segunda Division, his 23 goals firing the Galicians to the 2012-13 La Liga season where he’s notched up 33 appearances and found the back of the net 12 times.

Looks like another good buy by Liverpool.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Birthday Boy Stevie G in Quotes

One of Liverpool and England’s greatest ever footballers, Steven Gerard, has turned 33 which is really not good news for Liverpool fans who surely won’t be celebrating upon realizing that Captain Fantastic isn’t getting any younger. 

The Whiston-born lad made his first-team Liverpool debut in November 29 1998 in a Premier League match against Blackburn Rovers and has blossomed ever since raking in a total of 629 appearances and scoring 159 times for the Merseyside club, and still not out. Through these years, he’s won 13 trophies with Liverpool, the creme of them the 2005 UEFA Champions League, a year in which he also came close to winning the Ballon d’Or award but finished third behind Frank Lampard and winner Ronaldinho.  

To celebrate the Kop idol’s birthday, thesteifmastertake digs out what his peers and managers have said about him over the years.
King Kenny Dalglish: "He is probably the best player Liverpool ever produced."

Zinedine Zidane: "There are few extra abilities in Gerrard which I've tried to learn but failed.... Is he the best in the world? He might not get the attention of Messi and Ronaldo but, yes, I think he just might be. If you don't have a player like Steven Gerrard, who is the engine room, it can affect the whole team. He has great passing ability, can tackle and scores goals, but most importantly, he gives the players around him confidence and belief. You can't learn that - players like him are just born with that presence.'' 
Theiry Henry: "He gives his 100% in every match".

Arsene Wenger: "Usually any team worry about an opponent's striker but when Gerard is in the field they worry about him even more".

Diego Maradona: 'After the Istanbul magic he won my heart".

Pele: "He is the only English player who has complete footballing abilities".

Gary Neville: "Steven Gerrard is undoubtedly a world-class player and I wish he'd played for United.' 
Zlatan Ibrahimovic: “I think Steven Gerrard is a fantastic player. He has been loyal to his club, he has won some big trophies with the club. He feels more an international player rather than a normal English player. English players have big hearts, always fighting, very aggressive, but Gerrard, for me, feels more international. He has more skills than the normal player.” 

Patrick Viera : "The best midfielder I would say is Steven Gerrard. I really rate him as a player and as a man. He is so powerful and strong. He can attack, he can defend and he can score." 

Kaka: "England have always had individually strong players and I am a huge fan of Stevie Gerrard. He has the heart of a lion and is the icon of the modern footballer with his ability to attack and defend so well. He is the world's most complete modern player."

Alex Gerrard: "He’s a fantastic husband, a great dad and a brilliant ambassador for English football." 

Brendan Rodgers: “Unfortunately, I can’t say that without him (Gerard) we would be all right, because I don’t believe we would. With each day that goes by, you see his real importance to the club. At 32 years of age, he still looks so fit and strong. You can see his influence on the team. As a captain, he’s been phenomenal.” 

Alex Ferguson: “He has become the most influential player in England, bar none. Not that Vieira lacks anything, but Gerrard does more” 

Carlo Ancelotti: “He is undoubtedly one of the best midfield players in the world.” 

Daniele Di Rossi: "Gerrard has been my idol for 10 years and is one of the best players in the world. He is the example of what all midfield players aspire to. He is always there in the heat of the battle, leading by example. He is everywhere you look - in defence, in the middle of the pitch and in attack. I would love to be close to that level." 

Jack Wilshere: "Steven is a great role model. He has been the heartbeat of Liverpool for years. He has also been the stand-out performer for England as well. He was someone I looked up to when I was younger. He has 100 caps for England. For any young midfielder he is someone to base your game on and try to be like him. If I can get anywhere near as good as him and drive the team forward like he does, then I will be happy." 

Jamie Carragher: “We all know he’s in the upper echelons when it comes to Liverpool players, with most having him either first or second behind Kenny Dalglish, but when you look at a list of the greats to play in English football I’d say he is second only to Bobby Charlton in terms of the best midfielders there have ever been.”

John Barnes: “Player’s like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo may grab all the plaudits as attacking players and are rightly named as some of the world’s best but if you are talking about a complete player, then there is no-one better than Gerrard.”

Happy Birthday Captain Fantastic!!

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

KSJ Find HOTOSO Games too Hot to Handle

Kenya Sports Journalists bowed out of the 17th edition of the Hospitality and Tourism Sports Organization (Hotoso) games at the first hurdle after failing to register a single win in their 4 group games at the Parklands Sports Club.

The team that comprised of Captain Timothy Olobulu, Gregory Mulemi, Joseph Shegu, Amos Abuga, Hannington Avedi, Alex Isaboke, Paul Ojenge, Anthony Junior, and Peter “Shattaman” Muchiri, found the 6-aside tournament inhospitable as they struggled to find the back of the net more often than not.

The scribes drew their first match and never got going thereafter as their second match also ended in a stalemate before they were beaten hands down 2-0 in their third encounter. KSJ fired blanks in their fourth and final match which also ended in a draw, a result which saw them miss out on qualification to the next round.

KSJ also fielded a ladies’ team led by Beckie Magoma and Emily Wang’ombe who fared no better than their male counterparts after drawing all their three matches. Unlike the gentlemen who went home empty-handed, the ladies’ won a ball for their efforts.

Si hiyo ripoti imetosha hivo? Ime seethe, Donge?

Flop of the match – The whole team – enyee wasee mnaeza shindwaje kufunga yawa!! Kwani mlikua mnagonga chupa ndo bao iingie...Nkt!

Man of the match – Joseph Shegu – naskia ka jamaa kalifunga bao mbili....ONLY hehee...it’s been a looooong long long time...am sure it wasn’t a penalty though.

Overall man of the match – whoever accepts this report and moves on

And That’s thesteifmastertake!!