Friday stays as Kenya coach until after World Cup
16 May 2013, 14:13
Nairobi - Embattled former England rugby international Mike Friday will remain in his position as Kenya Sevens head coach at least up to the June World Cup.
Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) Chairman Mwangi Muthee announced in Nairobi on Wednesday that Friday, who played and coached England before, will be in charge of Kenya team when they travel to Moscow for the World Cup.
"The recent utterances made by some KRU board members lacked decorum and respect for the work Friday has done for our country. They were statements issued in the heat of the moment. However, after our talk I believe everything will be well," Muthee said in Nairobi on Wednesday.
Friday, who has been accused of not committing himself fully to the Kenya job, remained in London after the conclusion of the International Rugby Board (IRB) World Series.
His lack of time to train the team in Nairobi was highlighted as the reason why some of the board members wanted him packing.
But Muthee, who was in London with the team and the coach after the London leg of the IRB series, said he understands the burden put on the coach. Friday has to operate between the two cities -- London and Nairobi -- to work and be with his family.
"The decided that there would be a review of Friday's work and tenure. We will look at his performance then make a decision after the World Cup," said Muthee.
Friday guided Kenya to finish in the highest possible spot, fifth during the 2012-2013 IRB Sevens World Series, which ended in London on Sunday and also orchestrated Kenya's first win over giants Fiji, the first since the tournament started in 1999.
"Already Friday has accepted in principal to handle the team in Moscow and there after look for other opportunities. We will respect that," said Muthee.
"After the season's review because he loves the team and would love to leave with his head high, he wants to win the world cup with Kenya."
Muthee said the decision to hire Friday was to make up for the erratic results that Kenya was exhibiting at the international stage and the IRB World series.
"I don't want to castigate Friday for overshooting the budget because the buck stops with the union. Kenyans must also understand that the coach is human and as such he also has a family in London and cant live long in Kenya," said the chairman.
Friday was appointed in July last year to help restructure the country's Sevens set up and received the backing of then Minister of Youth and Sport, Dr. Paul Otuoma.
"Our decision to settle on (Mike) Friday was driven by a need to inject professionalism into the team and with the aim of taking Kenya Sevens to the next level," said Muthee.
Friday has a proven track record in Rugby Sevens. As a player he captained England to the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and to the 2001 Rugby World Cup Sevens in Mar del Plata.
As a coach he enjoyed notable successes, including leading England to four successive Hong Kong Sevens titles (2002-2006), two Dubai titles and the 2006 Commonwealth Games Silver medal.
Joining Friday on the technical bench is Christopher Brown from New Zealand as the Strength and Conditioning coach.