KRU uncertain over Kenya sevens coach as World Series start
08 October 2013, 12:23
Nairobi - Just days before Kenya Sevens team launch their campaign at the International Rugby Board (IRB) World Series in Gold Coast, Australia, it remains uncertain who will take charge of the side throughout the campaign.
Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) chairman, Mwangi Muthee, said South Africa's Paul Treu is among a horde of foreign coaches lined up to take charge of the team, but they are not tied up the lose ends of their deal.
The major challenge is the accommodation of three other members of Treu backroom staff.
"Kenya is now a major player in IRB Sevens World series and we are a brand, courtesy of the good performance on the pitch and the good management, since we started in 1999," he said.
"We are still shopping for a professional coach and that is a promise to all Kenyans that we will have one very soon," said Muthee.
Though the team is in Gold Coast for the first leg of the IRB leg, Muthee is optimistic, his stand-in coach Felix Ochieng will weather the storm and steer Kenya to success by reaching the main Cup finals.
"The stakes are high. Even the salaries of the boys must improve in proportion with the quality and value they add to the team.
"There are no two ways about it, if Kenya is to be a big player on the global scene and professionalise the sport, then we must go the right way. We must secure the best in the world and they don' t come cheap, we must be ready to pay for it. We want to be the champions of the world and that won' t come cheap."
Ever since England international Mike Friday quit last July, Kenya has been shopping around for his replacement. Over 12 coaches put in their application, but it was Treu that many thought will land the job.
He was to be confined last month, but he still had a contract with South Africa pending. However, he has been released.
Treu is demanding a huge salary to put pen to paper. His agent John Adams wants the former Spingbox coach to take home 13,000 U.S. dollars in monthly pay, which is over US dollars 5,000 more than what his predecessor Mike Friday earned.
Treu' s agent is asking for a complete overhaul of the sevens technical bench and he ships in three new assistants - Graham Bentz (6,000 dollars), Vuyo Zangqa (8,000 dollars) serving as an analyst and consultant and team physician and doctor Karen Schwabe to earn 5,000 dollars every month.
Adams has also roped in a proposed ten-day training camp in Johannesburg, for about 300,000 dollars. It also up in the air, how much time Treu would spend in Kenya.
This is an issue that former coach Mike Friday faced, as he continued to live in the UK and split his time between the two countries.
Other expenses would include insurance for bonuses and guarantee for salaries. Treu is equally looking at additional financial rewards in the event of Olympic qualification and the winning of medals.
The KRU had delayed Treu's appointment to before the International Rugby Board Dubai Sevens in December but in light of these wage demands this might prove a tall task for KRU.
Muthee confirmed they are trying to find a middle ground and accommodate the current coaching personnel and structures already in place.
"We are working to try and reach a compromise on the coaching set up and the figures so we are still talking," said Muthee.
Alongside Treu, other coaches from New Zealand, Australia and England are also lining up.
Treu has job offers from the Netherlands Olympic Committee to prepare the Dutch team to the Rio Olympics in 2016. He is also being earmarked for the South Africa Under 20s team.
Treu was appointed South Africa's Sevens coach in 2004 after representing the team from 1999 to 2002 at sweeper and later as captain.
As coach he led the team to the World Sevens Series title in 2008-09 and won 14 tournaments on the circuit.
He coached the team in three Sevens World Cups and took them to bronze at the Commonwealth Games in India in 2010.