KCB is minting success and Olago’s innovation is pushing it
Curtis Olago’s transformation of KCB RFC into one of the most formidable top flight rugby sides has been nothing short of impressive.
Last year, KCB whose rich rugby history traces back to 1989, claimed a hattrick of major titles and have began 2018 in similar swashbuckling form having already occupied the Kenya Cup driving seat.
The Bankers remain one of just two sides with 100 percent starts to their season, sweeping into seven wins in as many matches and are odds on to claim a third Kenya Cup title in four years.
Kabras Sugar RFC is the only other side that has been able to stand shoulder to shoulder with KCB yet Olago’s obsession with fresh ideas and any nugget of information that might rocket his team skyward gives the inevitable feeling the reigning champions will always be a step ahead.
His tenure has been defined by a myriad of changes aimed at improving the experience of those involved in the game. He says he always strives to become a better coach and has been able to draw the best from his players.
“Coaching has been a focus item,” Olago told Citizen Digital, “The best way to improve the quality of play is to improve the quality of coaching.”
When Olago took over as coach, one of the first things he did was to score through his calendar after working out the best month that would allow his players the greatest access to elite rugby knowledge.
“We were looking for the best time where we would have access to as many of our members and August was the best month since many are off duty and on holiday so to be able to blend together,” Olago said.
That approach has yielded admirable success as he has been able to enhance the talents of players like Darwin Mukidza, Jacob Ojee and Kenya Sevens Captain Andrew Amonde the Singapore Sevens series winning captain, and Kenya Simbas powerhouse Martin Owilla.
Due to the elongated nature of the Kenya Cup competition, Olago thought it best to reshuffle the team. “The duration of the season was too long, so we’ve combined different playing units so as to avoid serious injuries.”
From an administrative perspective, Olago who has two SOYA Coach of the Year awards under his belt has pushed through major changes such as ensuring his players are facilitated with top notch training equipment.
The 36-year-old said he is lucky to be in a position to influence the game and revealed he plans to capitalize on the situation to improve its quality both within the KCB community and across the country.
“We have been able to nurture lots promising talent and intend to expose may more to the top level,” he said.
His agenda includes hosting a coaching clinic and trials before the local sevens circuit kicks off I order to introduce local community members to the sport.
During this period, he hopes the club can help set up booths to connect those in attendance with clubs near them.
With the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) mired in confusion thanks to tussles with referees and the sponsorship debacle that has rocked the country’s sporting fraternity, Olago could be forgiven for forgetting that there is still a sevens season to be played.
Heading into the playoffs, Olago will be keen to guide the Bankers into lifting a sixth title for this ‘golden generation’. During the last of such kind, Olago was part of the playing as his forward partnership with Dennis “Ironman” Mwanja – now his assistant – tore Kenya Cup defenses at
Under the shadow of KCB’s success over the last decade, the team’s reserve team, better known as the KCB Cubs, are building a reputation for themselves in the ECRIC Shirley Shield and are among the top five teams set to battle it out in the playoffs of the ESS league.
“It feels like we have a standing reservation for the Cubs Division II spot,” he said. “They play in a very competitive league, and their success is a great reflection of the hard work that the boys have done.”
The playoffs are set to be played on March and all the pointers show KCB are about to have yet another vintage year.