Coach Henry Omino fell in week one of the Kenyan Premier League (KPL). Donning newbies Kisumu All Stars attire for his return to the top flight after a break from the rigors of top tier football, the seasoned tactician saw his charges fall 2-0 to Ulinzi Stars FC at the Moi Stadium last Saturday but takes a few positives from the match that evenly balanced out towards the end.
”I am happy we played very well in the first half. It was a first time for most of the players. The TV around and the crowd also turned out well, conceding two quick goals, that did the damage,” he tells Soka after a Friday morning training session at the Moi Stadium.
His experience at the top level should have come in handy- and he hoped it would, for 45 minutes, the youthful charges at All Stars put up a valiant fight, and restricted the scoreboard to a 0-0 reading by half time. He has played the military men before and knows one or two things about their approach in the opening stages of any encounter- he had prepared for that.
”Normally Ulinzi will come at you in the first fifteen minutes with a lot of speed and pace. I am happy we contained them. At half time, the talk was mainly about now at least going and getting a goal. We, however, conceded an early goal and that was unfortunate. If we had played just five minutes of the second half without conceding, the results would not have been the same,” regrets Omino.
Last season’s Golden Boot winner Enosh Ochieng did a 7-minute brace upon resumption, amending for the soldiers’ lack of precision in the first half. Though destabilized by the two quick goals, the new boys in the league regrouped to limit damage from the more experienced side. A few changes rang in the Blue Eagles’ line up and the showing at the end has Omino full of hope at next encounters.
”We managed to talk to them and somehow regained our head towards the end. In terms of possession, and chances we did well towards the end.
”We had a good strategy as a team and maybe just the execution did not work well but we are working on such things as how to support the lone striker, how to surge forward with confidence. I pray that the team matures quickly because at the top here it’s all about maturity and character,” concludes a very hopeful Omino.
Kisumu All Stars currently sit 16th on the 18-team KPL log with zero points from one match and next travel to Kenya Commercial Bank FC for their next encounter. KCB won 3-0 on matchday one against SoNy Sugar FC and are currently in possession of two key former All Stars players; defender Moses Odhiambo and forward Ian Mutanda.