The 2019 national ball games kick off in Kisumu on Tuesday 30th, firm focus aimed at the football U19 category where a new champion will be crowned.
St Anthony’s Kitale Boys have been deemed one of the favorites to make an impact on the football Boys U19 category as defending champions Kakamega High School sit out this year’s edition due to elimination at the county level. The Solidarity Boys pitched camp at Awasi Boys school in a bid to acclimatize to the lake region environment and have since left for the city Kisumu where Team Manager Daniel Oronje they will hold light training before the championship begins.
”We travel to the city today for and will take some rest from the rigorous preparations we have had. We are lucky not to have sustained any injuries and tomorrow, we will only do some shakeup as we await the games,” he tells Soka briefly after breaking camp in Awasi.
The side played two friendly matches in their preps- one against Fusco and another against premier league side Western Stima. He says they were the biggest beneficiaries in those two matches even if they never won any.
”We drew 2-2 with Fusco and lost 3-1 to Stima. The Stima one especially gave us a lot of confidence because if you can get a goal against a premier league side then it motivates you,” he adds.
St Anthony’s won last year’s national Copa U16 crown and went all the way to represent Kenya in the African championships where they emerged the best after dispatching Nigeria in the final. Oronje says the U16 youngster from last year’s junior squad make up a huge portion of this year’s U19 senior outfit and fans should be ready for good football.
”We have a good team and are here for the ultimate prize. Last year’s Copa team that beat Nigeria are the ones making up this year’s senior team so free-flowing football is what we will deliver,” concludes the bullish manager.
St Anthony’s are in pool A alongside last year’s finalists Olbolsat from Central, Shimba Hills from Coast and North Eastern representatives. The Solidarity Boys were knocked out of last year’s national title race by Olbolsat- whom they face early in this year’s groups stages.