Ebwali Secondary School from Vihiga county will be playing their first-ever football boys U19 national games when the Kenya Secondary School term two games kick-off in Kisumu on Tuesday. Their coach- one Francis Muhambe however, has been here before, and the teacher of Kiswahili and History banks on his experience with Lake Olbolsat High School from last year to spur his new team.
Speaking to Soka while holding some light training at the Kisumu Boys High School on Monday, Muhambe insists his team deserves to play in the nationals even if their western regionals ended with them placed third behind St Mary’s Kibabii and St Peter’s Mumias. The two saints have since been disqualified for irregularities.
”I thank God for this chance. It’s not my first time as a coach because I was here last year with Olbolsat and we went all the way to East Africa,” says Muhambe, wary of the fact that many a fan doesn’t fancy Ebwali to make a mark.
”People are saying we don’t deserve to be here but the truth is that we deserve to be here. Qualifying from the Western region is not easy and we are here because we followed all the laid down regulations,” he generously opines.
Ebwali, a day school in Luanda emerged Vihiga county champions for 2019 in Coach Muhambe’s first stint in charge. He says Western is a competitive region and the fact that they even managed a semi-final place speaks a lot of his team.
”I am not a coach by guessing. I believe in myself. We have achieved despite many challenges. Even getting to the semi-finals of the Western Regionals is no mean feat. I have told my boys not to fear any team,” he adds.
Ebwali will be up against host team Kisumu Day High School in one of the boys’ pools, with Mbooni Boys and Dagoretti High completing the group. They have put in a decent amount of work according to the coach and now await lady luck to smile their way because he knows sometimes this works in sports.
”Apart from commitment and hard work, sometimes in soccer luck counts a lot and that one comes from God. We have done our part as a team in preparations and have asked God to guide us and lift the title,” concludes Muhambe.
The games kick-off at the Kisumu Boys and Moi Stadium on Tuesday 30th from 10 am with the junior Copa U16 games taking place at the Kisumu Polytechnic.