Shujaa have been set a target of 150 points for the 2018-2019 season, which kicks off in Dubai this Friday.
Director in charge of squads management, Roy Olendo, said the team is capable of surpassing last season total haul of 104 points under previous tactician Innocent Simiyu.
“We saw what Shujaa did last season and with the blend of youth and experience in the squad, we can achieve at the bare minimum—a semi-final in all the 10 legs of the circuit,” added Olendo. Kenya played two finals last season in Hong Kong and Vancouver and reached eight of the 10 quarterfinals to attain their highest ever points haul. Olendo said they are expecting a competitive season from the team.
Kenya open their campaign in Dubai on Friday against Scotland before facing tricky France and a tough final Pool ‘B’ match against Olympic champions Fiji.
Skipper Eden Agero said the squad will have to intensify their approach and be ready to play three matches on Friday.
“It will not be easy. We are taking one match at a time as a lot of guys in the squad are newcomers with a few experienced heads in the team including myself, Ombachi (Dennis), Jeff Oluoch and Leonard Mugaisi and we must guide some of the youngsters,” he added.
Agero said playing at the Safari Sevens early this month will have given the boys confidence ahead of the season opener in Dubai and the subsequent tournament in Cape Town a week later.
“The two tough games we had against Spain in the semifinal and Samurai in the final were the kind of matches we will face in the circuit and mentally , it helps us for the kind of challenge we are going to face,” added Agero. The team had an early training session yesterday after a five hour flight and will have two more sessions today before the captain’s run tomorrow.
Kenya reached the quarter-finals last season in the opening tournament with wins over Uganda and Canada before falling to South Africa . They lost to New Zealand in the Main cup quarter-finals.