Atieno anchors Maseno Open winners with five goals.
Lakers Hockey Club have bolstered their squad signing up 10 players ahead of their Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) Women Premier League debut next month.
The Kisumu-based side earned a place in this year’s premier league after finishing second in the 2018 Hockey Women Super League with 22 points, three behind champions Kenyatta University.
Team Manager John Paul Otieno said they signed four defenders, three strikers and midfielders with most of them being students from top performing schools in the region.
“We brought in a crop of young talented players from Sinyolo, Nyamira, Tigoi, Kisumu Girls and St Teresa Girls. We are giving the young players an opportunity to grow. I know it will be difficult to predict how they will help us but we hope they will exhibit good show when they play top teams like Telkom,” Otieno said.
The team’s new signings are Stephanie Nicole, Chery Muhatia, Judith Abayo and Edna Vallery (defenders), Sumbwa Ongoche, Millicent Adhiambo and Roseline Oranga (midfielders), Charlene Sydney, Angela Akelo and Chepkemoi Cheruiyot (strikers).
Otieno was confident with the new signings saying they played a great role in their respective school’s top performance and in the just concluded Maseno Open.
“They are fresh players who are talented and have been behind their school’s good performances. This was also shown in the just concluded Maseno Open which we won,” he said.
Lakers defeated Kampala Hockey Club 1-0 in the finals of the Maseno Open last weekend to win the women’s hockey category.
Enroute to the finals, the lakeside team defeated Kaimosi 5-0 and Kampala 2-0 with last year top scorer Aurelia Atieno netting five goals of the eight they scored in the tournament.
Aloice Owino, the team’s coach, said the team’s target is to beat Telkom but will take each game at a time starting with Sliders on April 6 in Kisumu.
“Telkom has ruled the league for about 21 years but we believe we can pose a significant threat this year. We are going for them. We want to prove that it is possible to stop them,” said Owino.
Lakers was formed in 2017 and made debut in the second division last year. It becomes the second women’s hockey team in the lakeside city after the defunct Chelsea that was disbanded in 2000.
They will be banking on the 2018 super league top scorer Aurelia Atieno to replicate his form to the premier league after netting seven goals last season. She will however have support of the three new strikers. Lakers will begin their premier league trophy hunt against Sliders in April.