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
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.