KCB are on their way to the Stanbic 7s national title may all go well in the last two legs but the big question is can they repeat what they did in 2014?
KCB successfully defended their Safaricom sevens series title in 2014, despite failing to make it to the cup competition at the Christie sevens and losing 12-0 to Nondies in the Bowl final. They had won the series in 2013.
The bankers accumulated a total of 92 points over the 5 leg series, picking up 3 titles on the way to the overall crown as reported by OSBKE.
Fast forward to 2019, the bankers are likely to be crowned the series champions. They have already picked two titles after winning Kakamega and Dala 7s to top the log with 72 points; three above second-placed Stanbic Mwamba.
Winning either Christie or Driftwood 7s will put them in prime position to win the circuit.
2018 Kenya Cup-winning coach Curtis Olago named a strong 12-man squad to Christie 7s in 2014 that had Peter Parma, Oliver Mangeni, Ian Indimuli Askofu, Andrew Amonde, Philip Wamae, Collins Wanjala, Essau Otieno, Edwin Salamba, Darwin Mukidza, Benjamin Ojema, Fabian Olando, Maurice Mbai, Mike Owino, Peter Kilonzo and Jacob Ojee.
The management had Dennis Mwanja as his assistant, Mike Shamiah the S&C coach, Joseph Kolli the team physio, Kenneth Wandera the kitman and Peter Mutai the TM.
Former KCB player Michael Kwambo, who previously worked as a communication officer at KRU, believes the 2014 squad triumphs the 2019 group.
"That group(2014) of players had been together for a while and they realized their potential. I think we are expecting too much of the 2019 squad that while they are good on paper is not quite the finished product."
Only Andrew Amonde and Jacob Ojee are in the 2019 squad. Mwanja has since been promoted to the head coach role, Wamae is now the team manager while a number of players are in the 15s version and Kenya Simbas.
KCB's squad to Prinsloo 7s in 2019 had Davis Chenge, Shaddon Munoko, Vincent Onyala, Michael Wanjala, Samuel Asati, Ahmed Shaban, Johnstone Olindi, Elphas Adunga, Levy Amunga, Geoffrey Okwatch and Peter Waitere joining Amonde and Ojee.
Kwambo has been impressed by a few. "Obviously Johnstone Olindi, he is a gem," he said.
"Nobody's talking about Levy Amunga but you can see his input for the bankers and of course Vincent Onyala."
The likes of Adrian Opondo, Arthur Owira, Mike Wekesa, Mike Kimwele, Elphas Adunga, Ken Moseti, Eugene SIrima and Collins Mulla have also featured this year.
In 2019, KCB's squad is one of the most decorated in the circuit with 11 of the players who competed at Prinsloo 7s having represented Kenya 7s, Kenya U20 or Kenya 15s.
KCB won the 2013 and 2014 national sevens circuits but things are different now with a number of teams contesting for the cup week in week out.
"We have all seen how competitive the circuit is. With only two rounds to go there are about four or five teams still capable of claiming the overall title. I have not seen that in a while," said Kwambo.
"Having said that, I don't expect KCB or any other team to dominate in the next few years. I envisage a scenario where there is a band of four or five teams ranked as contenders every season.
KCB, who are waiting to learn their Christie 7s opponents, have won the Kenya Cup for three years in a row.
Part of KCB 2014 Sevens Squad:
Peter Parma, Oliver Mangeni, Ian Indimuli Askofu, Andrew Amonde, Philip Wamae, Collins Wanjala, Essau Otieno, Edwin Salamba, Darwin Mukidza, Benjamin Ojema, Fabian Olando, Maurice Mbai, Mike Owino, Peter Kilonzo, Jacob Ojee.
Part of KCB 2019 Sevens Squad:
Davis Chenge, Shaddon Munoko, Vincent Onyala, Michael Wanjala, Samuel Asati, Ahmed Shaban, Johnstone Olindi, Elphas Adunga, Levy Amunga, Geoffrey Okwatch, Jacob Ojee, Andrew Amonde, Peter Waitere, Adrian Opondo, Arthur Owira, Mike Wekesa, Mike Kimwele, Elphas Adunga, Ken Moseti, Eugene SIrima, Collins Mulla.