Coaches eye top award: KCB’s Olago faces stiff competition from four other tacticians

KCB Rugby Club Head Coach Curtis Olago gives instructions to his players at KCB Sports Ground in Ruaraka ahead of the new season.

Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) rugby coach Curtis Olago faces stiff competition from other top coaches as he battles to be named the Coach of the Year in the 2017 Safaricom Sports Personality of the year awards.

The 36-year-old guided guided KCB to three major titles this season.

He led the bankers to their fifth Kenya Cup victory, beating champions Kabras Sugar 36-8 in the final on April 22, this year. KCB later claimed a sixth Enterprise Cup title when they rallied from 10-0 to silence Kabras Sugar 27-23 on May 27, this year.

KCB went for their fifth Impala Floodlit title, beating Impala Saracens 18-17 in the final on November 18 at Impala Sports Club.

Olago will, however, not have it easy as he faces competition from the likes of national Under-19 cricket team coach Jimmy Kamande.

Kamande was the man behind the team’s qualification to the 2018 International Cricket Council Under-19 World Cup.

He led the Kenyan juniors to victory against Ghana, Botswana and the crucial the seven-wicket win over Uganda that saw them qualify for the global Championship with a superior net run rate. Through his guidance Kenya’s dream to return to the age group World Cup became a reality after 16 years of waiting.

Also in contention to be recognised as the best tactician in 2017 is Vihiga United coach Edward Manoah. He steered the National Super League (NSL) side to the Kenyan Premier League on their second attempt.

They won the nail-bitting NSL competition on the final day amassing 80 points from 36 matches and the feat guaranteed them a promotion to the KPL for their first time in history.

Despite financial difficulties that saw them surrender their run away lead after the County government stopped funding for the team, Manoah steadied the ship and ensured they made a dramatic comeback.

Telkom coach Jos Openda is also one of the coaches who has been nominated in the competitive category.

Openda has ensured that Telkom hockey team maintains its top spot locally and internationally. He led Orange to their ninth Africa title and is on the verge of capturing the 20th women’s league trophy as the other teams seems not close to beating Telkom.

He led the hockey queens to victory at Africa Club Championships held in Nairobi in January.

Kenya Lionesses coach Kevin Wambua is the second rugby coach to have been nominated for the award after KCB’s Olago.

Wambua guided the Lionesses to book a slot for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast Australia.

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