Nairobi, November 30, 2016: 47 players drawn from SportPesa Premier League clubs have been selected to join a training camp in January 2017 as the country draws nearer to the first ever football match pitting an English Premier League side, Hull City and a Kenyan side.
The shortlist is not without some surprise names including 16 year old Joshua Otieno, who impressed the coaches when they visited Sony Sugar FC at their Awendo base.
Preparations for the game at the KCOM began earlier this month when two of the Tigers’ Academy coaches, Richard Naylor and Kris Blakeston, visited Kenya on a scouting mission to pick out the country’s top football talent.
Tasked with selecting 50 players to attend a special training camp, the English duo took in international fixtures against Mozambique and Liberia, league matches and training sessions at the country’s top clubs but selected only 47 because they wanted to give it to the players who deserved the opportunity and did not feel it was correct to give it to 3 players just to make up the numbers.
With shortlists and player recommendations now submitted, coaches will return to Kenya for the training camp early in the New Year to pick out the top 16 players who will go on to form the SportPesa All Stars squad that will travel to England to take on the Tigers in February.
Ronald Karauri, Chief Executive Officer for SportPesa, said: “SportPesa All Stars are the beginning of Kenya’s journey to qualification for the World Cup in 2022 and we look forward to the two matches they will play against Hull City.”
The friendly match at the KCOM Stadium in the United Kingdom next year is part of Hull City’s continued support of shirt sponsor SportPesa’s commitment to develop Kenyan football to global standards, and their efforts to help Kenya qualify for their first ever World Cup in 2022.
Tigers Commercial Manager Simon King added: “SportPesa All Stars project is truly unique. It fully demonstrates that our partnership with SportPesa goes way beyond a branding exercise and is something that is having a positive impact in developing Kenyan football.
“The first stage of the project has gone incredibly well and we now look forward to organising the training camp in January when our coaches will have the tough task of picking a squad to play at the KCOM Stadium in February.”
This comes at a time when the Tigers are also working closely with SportPesa on the ‘Kits For Kenya’ campaign, which calls on supporters to donate any football kit items to be sent out to Kenya to help enhance the prospects of young players in the country. Deposit boxes can be found in our Tiger Leisure stores at the KCOM Stadium and Prospect Shopping Centre until the end of December for any fans that wish to donate.
Further details about the match against the SportPesa All Stars will be released in due course.
Below is the video with the Hull City coaches sharing their thoughts on their selection of the 47.