Former Kabras Head Coach Mike Bishop has revealed the list of players he believes were outstanding during his stint in Kenya.
Taking a trip down memory lane, Bishop singles out the late Mike Okombe for his talent and explosive running style.
Kenyan rugby legends Collins Injera, brother Humphrey Kayange and Shujaa captain Andrew Amonde make his list of some of the outstanding players who were not part of the Kabras set up.
”Apart from all the Kabras players: Mike Okombe RIP. Mike was a very hard running, talented and aggressive forward. I actually met with Mike in 2016 about coming to Kabras, as he had finished his studies and he wanted to be close to his family.” he told Scrummage.
”Andrew Amonde. You always knew the game would be tougher when he was in the KCB line-up. He is such a consistent, competitive and determined player. He epitomised what a coach wants from a player.”
”(Humphrey) Kayange and (Collins) Injera. Those guys had something special. I remember them playing together for Mwamba against Kabras in Kakamega and they spent an hour after the game getting photos with fans and talking to them. True champions are humble.”
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Four seasons after his departure, Bishop has a lot of positives to highlight on the local league in terms of game structures and management.
Having followed some of the Kenya Cup action since parting ways with the Sugarmen, the tactician says a number of teams have are becoming structured.
”I think more teams are becoming very structured. It was always my belief that Kenyan players played better when they could have some structure but also be able to play what is in front of them. This comes down to teaching players what their options are in different circumstances and on different parts of the field,” he stated.
”I have always coached game-based scenarios at training so that the players learn to make their own decisions within the guidelines we have set.”
”I think management has improved a lot too. The safety aspect of the game and my duty to care to the players always came before anything else. I pushed hard to change the thinking on head injury protocol while I was there (at Kabras). I actually once delayed the start a Kenya Cup game until the protocols were met by an opposing team. I make no apologies about putting the player’s welfare first.”
”As a team manager, Kabras was lucky to have the services of Ogot. He was super organised and everything ran smoothly. It certainly made my job a lot easier.”
Leaving Kenya for Australia after a successful season with Kabras was not part of the plans of Australian coach Bishop. The need to be close to his ailing father meant Bishop had to pack and move back home where he has taken on different coaching roles since then. Farming and business have been part of his life as he narrates to the Scrummage.
”Coaching wise, I coached/managed an “ Iconz/Aussie 7’s development” team to the Borneo Sevens in 2018 and 2019. It has been rewarding see quite a few of these players debut for Aussie 7’s on the World Series circuit.”
”I coached an Indigenous ladies’ team on the Australian Sevens Circuit and I coached the Outback Barbarians to an undefeated tour of the USA in 2018. It was also our intention to tour Ireland this September but that has been postponed until 2021 due to Coronavirus.”
”Workwise, I have cattle and sheep and I am also involved in the timber industry.”