Zico reveals secrets behind KCB good run
FOOTBALL By Ochieng Oyugi | May 3rd 2021
Sports in Kenya have been on hold for a period now due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
On Saturday, His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta gave the green light for the games to resume, but under guidelines drawn by the Ministry of Sports and the Ministry of Health.
One of the elated coaches who cannot wait for the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) to resume after this announcement is Zedekiah 'Zico' Otieno.
The Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) FC tactician says he has a lot to achieve with his side that currently has a roller coaster ride in the league where they are perched second on the log, behind leaders Tusker FC.
Otieno revealed to Standard Sports the reason behind their meteoric rise in the new season, which has seen them shock even defending champions Gor Mahia FC.
"There are four secrets that are making us great this season.
"First, we signed quality players. Secondly, we set targets and are achieving them. Third, we have a good technical bench and lastly, our sponsors are amazing," says Zico.
The coach is happy that they signed players who are adding value to the team that is looking for its first KPL title.
He is contented with all departments, from defence, midfield to the striking force.
"I see no reason to bolster the team in the second leg.
"Everything is working out perfectly, if there is a need to do so then the technical bench will decide," he says.
To prove his quality signings, seven of his players have so far earned call ups to the national team, Harambee Stars, this season.
They are Denise Odhiambo, Nashon 'Crouch' Alembi, David 'Messi' Ambulu, Baraka Badi, Joseph 'Spoti' Okoth, Reagan Okello and Michael Mutinda.
"I'm glad we were the team with the highest number of players against Egypt and Togo in the 2021 AFCON qualifiers. This meant a lot to us. It shows the quality in our club," says Zico.
Odhiambo, an experienced left-back was in the Harambee Stars squad that took part in the 2019 AFCON championship in Egypt where Kenya exited the scene in group stages.
"Enock Agwanda and Simon Abuko also bring in experience to younger players like Reagan who is now in his second year in the KPL."
Zico has set long, medium and short term targets for the team and he is glad all is working out well.
One of the plans he set at the start of the season that he has achieved was to avail a certain number of players to the national team.
"We are just hoping that more players will keep on working hard to earn call ups to the Harambee Stars," he says.
His next target, which is ongoing, is to perform well and finish the league in a respectable position.
"I can confidently tell you we are on course to achieving this," he says.
He explains that his medium and long term targets are derived from the daily plans that he makes.
"I prepare for the training session then evaluate the exercises. I gauge individual players on their performance.
"The following day, I plan for another session to build from where we left."
"Through the daily targets, we end up achieving a lot at the end of the week where we play and win matches.
"Every time we try to improve on everything to avoid stagnation," he explained.
Zico says the KCB technical bench has offered good leadership that has contributed to their good run in the league.
The bench has gone far and wide to recruit players and ensure they are discipline to the course.
Zico is grateful that their sponsors have lived up to their promise which is to fund and provide support to the players.
He says the role played by their sponsors during this time of Covid 19 was unmatched.
"All players and technical bench have been on salaries which are paid on time."
"Their support is what's makes this team what it is. It is what will take this team to where we want to go at the end of the season," he said.
Zico and the technical bench have been engaging the players on virtual training when the league was on hold to ensure their form don't dip.
But now he cannot wait to meet his players physically as they start serious training for the league at their Ruaraka based in Nairobi.
"I missed the players, the dugouts, the pitches, the physical training. I cannot wait to resume the league." KCB head coach Zedekiah 'Zico' Otieno.
KCB highlights this season:
-Have played 15 matches
-Have won 9
-Have drawn 3
-Have lost 3
-Have accumulated 30 points
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