Kenya Men’s Sevens Head Coach Damian McGrath is a positive man ahead of the Los Angeles sevens set for this upcoming weekend, August 27-28.
McGrath after announcing Shujaa’s squad ahead of the World Series season ender, suggested that he and the boys have put in the extra work needed so as to finish off the season in a positive note.
Coming off their seventh spot finish at the recently held Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, Shujaa are set to face Samoa, England and Scotland in Pool D.
McGrath announced two changes in the team with Jeff Oluoch and Samuel Oliech replacing Levi Amunga and Herman Humwa respectively. The latter were part of the squad that took part in the Commonwealth Games.
“The side for L.A was selected mainly on the contracted players, I’ve made two changes from the Commonwealth Games team simply to have a look at other players, so Sammy Oliech and Jeff Oluoch will come in,” McGrath told press.
The Englishman clarified that the squad was in no way a reflection of who was having a poor season or not. According to McGrath, the squad rotation is an attempt to blend the squad with both experienced and upcoming players.
“It’s not a reflection on the guys who have been left out…it’s just a chance for me to look at them because we are looking to change the senior squad group to bring in some younger players from the National Sevens Circuit,” McGrath added.
Shujaa begin their campaign in America against Samoa on Saturday, August 27 at 8:26pm EAT, before their second game against England at 11:10pm. The boys round off their pool D matches against Scotland on Sunday, August 28 at 2:21am.
Previewing the matches, McGrath said, “We are in a fairly tough pool in L.A, Samoa are the leading team in our group. They’ve been playing very very well this year…been based in Dubai since Christmas training, playing and preparing as a team…so they’ll offer a tough assignment for the first game.”
McGrath added that the match against his home country and neighbours Scotland will be quite different from their opening match against Samoa. However, he reassured fans that the boys will be up for it.
“We then play England and Scotland who despite having a young team always have a wide pool of players to choose from, so they’ll offer a different challenge. Scotland beat us narrowly in the Commonwealth Games and whist we are not going there expecting to turn everybody over, we are very confident that we can put in some good performances.”
Shujaa squad for Los Angeles
Nelson Oyoo (Nakuru, captain), Daniel Taabu (Mwamba), Bush Mwale(Homeboyz), Alvin Otieno(KCB), Vincent Onyala(KCB), Billy Odhiambo(Mwamba), Jeff Oluoch(Homeboyz), Anthony Omondi(Mwamba), Samuel Oliech(Impala Saracens), Johnstone Olindi(KCB), Edmund Anya(Impala Saracens), William Ambaka(Narvskaya Zastava), Kevin Wekesa (Kabras Sugar)