Their maiden visit to Kenya was quite the comprehensive one and they did so much behind the scenes apart from beating Gor Mahia FC at Kasarani International Stadium on Sunday.
There was a lot of excitement with their visit and some of the things that Hull City FC did seemed to have gone unreported. It’s no secret, these guys had fun and they loved their stay.
Unbeknownst to many, The “Tigers” were in the country to help in developing football as well, courtesy of the leading bookmakers in Kenya, SportPesa.
After Sunday’s pulsating match, the team toured Kibera and embarked on community work. They visited Shofco Kibra School for Girls where they interacted with students and teachers, giving them inspiration and support. It was a humbling experience and the players saw the kind of work that goes in to taking care of children in the slum.
Hull City FC toured the vast and expansive Shofco projects in the area that included a community center, water kiosk, libraries, computer center, early childhood development center, water purification system, clinic and sustainable livelihoods.
Soccer match in Kibera
Thereafter, they played against Shofco FC in a nine-a-side football friendly at Undugu Grounds where Shofco emerged winners, beating The Tigers 2 – 0. The winning goals were scored by Nicholas Dendwa and Kevin Ntonya in the second half.
The visitors had difficulty adapting to the dusty pitch located at the heart of Kibera, arguably the biggest slum in East and Central Africa.
“We got exposure and experience from the game. We have been inspired and motivated,” Kevin Ntonya underlined.
Shofco captain, Felix Onyango, said playing and interacting with the Hull contingent made them to think global.
“It’s not where you come from but where you are going that matters,” Onyango underscored.
All 23 clubs from the sprawling slum were issued with assorted sport gear through Kits For Africa initiative which was launched by Everton FC legend, Leon Osman at Umeme Grounds in Ziwani estate in December.
The Kibera teams that benefited from Kits For Africa Initiative include
6.West Boys FC
10.Golden Boys FC
11.New Stars FC
14.South Sudan FC
21.Sita Mbili FC
Hull players handed boxes of kit to the teams as they mingled with the players who operate in a world away from the pristine facilities they enjoy in England.
“Every club needs basics like uniforms, boots and balls to grow in the game. I’m happy with what SportPesa is doing to further this cause.
“We are also glad to have shared precious moments with these young people who probably will be world beaters in the near future. My advice to them is to keep on pushing because football is not a one-day activity.
“The fact that the sport is a universal language makes it easy for people of diverse background and creed to interract together,” spoke Hull head coach, Nigel Adkins
“The uniforms we have received today will push us through in the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Division Two League.
“We look forward to qualify for Division One League next season,” stated Onyango, whose side is currently seventh on the log with 12 points.
Nairobi based clubs, Vapor FC and Kangemi Patriots FC benefitted a clinic conducted by Hull City FC coaches on Tuesday morning as well.
The clinic was part of the flurry of activities to engage with the community as the Tigers continued their maiden tour of Kenya.
First team coach Tony Pennock, Goalkeeping coach Barry Richardson and Physiotherapist Alan Peachum conducted the clinic with Vapor, who play in the in the FKF Division Two and County League outfit, Kangemi at the Hope Center in Kawangware.
“It’s fantastic that we got the chance to train such a bunch of great players this morning.
“This is such a fulfilling initiative and we are proud to be a part of it, giving back to the society is very important and I hope the players have gained something from it,” added Tony Pennock
The teams began with a light warm up session under the team physio before being split into two groups for a technical training session.
After a short break, the coaches intensified the session with ball work focusing on possession and control and they were pleased with the determination and eagerness displayed by the players.
“The entire visit to Kenya has been full of surprises, from the packed stadium on Sunday to this morning’s session that was amazing.
“It’s such a great feeling to see your knowledge being appreciated by people from the community,” goalkeeping coach Robertson added.
The training culminated with a small-sided game between the two sides and when it was done, coaches and players were rewarded with attire from the Kit For Africa initiative.
“We are very happy today and it’s been a day that we will never forget. There are many teams in Kenya who aren’t fortunate enough to have kit to train and we thank everyone for blessing us with all these shirts and jerseys,” Marvin Otieno of Kangemi offered.
The players were served lunch after the exercise.