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KHU faith in women's team pays-off

09 September 2014, 20:57

Nairobi - The faith that the Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) shown in the women's team, has paid-off as they produced what was needed at the recently completed first round of the World League.

The team crashed out at the Africa Nations Cup last year, but still the KHU stuck with the team who responded by defeating  Ghana in the three-day tournament which was staged at the City Park Stadium ending on Sunday.

The ladies are now on course as their victory saw them begin their road to the Rio 2016 Olympics on a high.

They beat Ghana 1-0 and Tanzania 22-0 to secure the lone ticket to the second round in Monte Video, Uruguay.

Cynthia Akinyi won the goalkeeper of the tournament award while captain Betsy Ommala led from the front to claim the best player award.

Also read: National hockey teams start Olympic journey

While the women's team displayed the best hockey game in the country, the men’s side had no answers to Egypt’s queries as they lost 2-1 in the decisive game.

Police talisman Moses Cheplaiti, who has maintained consistency as the country's top scorer and George Mutira of Nairobi Simba, could have added value to the team but were omitted from the squad.

The experience of Allan Iningu of Strathmore and Barnabas Odhiambo of Kenya international would also have helped.

Speaking to Standard Digital, a former national team player said the men had displayed some growth in the midfield and defence but their finishing was poor.

"Our mid-fielders and defenders played their roles well, we had a big problem as we lacked strikers to finish the job,” he told the online publication.

He said that coaches should not be tasked with selecting players for national team trials, just like is done in South Africa. That role should instead be reserved for a national body.

"We should learn from South Africa, who use a different format to select players. The coaches should not select players. They should only be given the free hand to manage and train a selected team," he said.


- News24


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