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New 7s coach ‘Toti’ calls for improved conditions

The new Kenya Sevens coach Felix ‘Toti’ Ochieng on Thursday said a good training and playing environment will be vital for the team’s forward movement.

Ochieng said it’s a high time the focus shifted from the coaches to the players so as to spur good performance.

“Conducive training and playing atmosphere for players will always conjure up improved performance. That is what I want to cultivate moving forward,” said Ochieng.

Ochieng was named by the Kenya Rugby Union as the replacement of South Africa’s Paul Treu, who resigned after last weekend’s Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens. Treu has since quit sevens rugby to take over a 15s job with Western Province in Cape Town.

Speaking on the possibilities of having the missing senior players back to the fold, Ochieng said it will be prudent to create room for the players to be successful.

TURBULENT CONDITIONS

“There are no boundaries in Kenya Sevens hence it will be fair to give them the best opportunities to succeed.”

The 2014/2015 IRB World Sevens Series kicked off under turbulent conditions for Treu and Ochieng as his assistant. The Kenyan team lost in Shield finals in Gold Coast and Dubai before reaching the Bowl final at Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens.

Ochieng termed Treu’s resignation regrettable adding that it was a great honour working with the South Africa tactician.

“His work ethics was superb and it’s sad to see him go but the structures he put in place will be quite resourceful for me,” said Ochieng, who handled the team in the opening leg of the 2012/2013 season in Gold Coast before Treu took over.

Ochieng reckoned that it will be a tough task for him taking over at the middle of the season. “It won’t be an easy task since I am just a servant of the sport. We need to continue being a family and working on the goals we set,” said Ochieng.

Kenya, which is placed 14th in the series table with 11 points, will meet Argentina, Scotland and Samoa in Pool D of the Wellington Sevens due for February 6-7 in New Zealand.