Hull City coaches pitch camp in Kenya to identify talent
Nairobi, Nov 4 (IANS) English football club Hull City FC has sent two coaches to scout for talent in the Kenyan top flight competition for two weeks.
Richard Naylor, a former Ipswich Town, Leeds United, Doncaster Rovers and Rotherham United defender who made over 470 career appearances, and Kris Blakestone — one of the longest serving members of the Hull Academy staff having worked for eight years at the club — will watch matches in the local Kenyan Premier League (KPL) during their stay, reports Xinhua.
They are on a mission to short-list 50 players who feature for the 16 teams in the KPL who will be invited to a training camp run by the club in January ahead of Hull’s visit to Nairobi a month later where they will face a domestic side in what will be a first visit of an EPL side to Kenya.
“We hope to be fully immersed into Kenya’s football scene during our scouting and selection period, exchange ideas with coaches and players, interact with football fans and eventually select a formidable team to face Hull City,” said Naylor, the Head Professional Development Coach.
On Saturday, the two trainers will be in the lakeside city of Kisumu to watch local champions Gor Mahia play against Muhoroni Youth before travelling to the country’s fourth largest town Nakuru a day later to see Tusker FC take on AFC Leopards.
Tusker will be crowned KPL champions with victory against Leopards to earn the right to represent Kenya at next season’s premier continental club competition — the CAF Champions League.
Naylor and Blakestone will also attend national team’s two friendlies against Mozambique and Liberia in the forthcoming international break.
Besides that, the Hull coaches will visit training sessions with local sides Ulinzi Stars, Muhoroni, Chemelil Sugar, Thika United, Ushuru FC and Bandari FC among others.
Additionally, their aim is to identify a player who can join the Tigers in the EPL to join the only Kenyan who plays in the EPL and national team captain, Victor Wanyama.
Wanyama became the first Kenyan to feature in the English top flight when he signed for Southampton FC from Scottish champions Glasgow Celtic in 2013. He also sealed the most expensive move for a Kenyan domestic player when he joined rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the summer in an undisclosed deal believed to be 11 million pounds ($13.7 million).