Ataro among coaches awaiting Telkom call

By Elizabeth Mburugu: Thursday, January 17th 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Hockey
[PHOTO: COURTESY]

The 2019 Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) league season will mark the beginning of a new era at Africa’s most successful women’s club Telkom.

The 21-time Premier League champions will start their journey without long serving coach Jos Openda, who recently retired ending his flourishing coaching career.

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This year, Telkom will be seeking to defend both the Africa Cup of Club Championships gong and the women’s league trophy.

Seeking to protect Telkom’s legacy, Openda, who also believes that proper planning is key to success, had put measures in place to ensure there is a successor who will take the club to the next level after him.

“Retirement was inevitable and that is why I mentored senior players to take over the team. Being a women’s, team it was my wish that the ladies take over and manage the affairs of the club.

They have done well and I believe right now, we have four who can perfectly fit in my shoes and lead Telkom to success,” Openda said.

Former Kenya number one goalkeeper Josephine Ataro, who has been serving as Openda’s assistant in the last three seasons, is among those primed to succeed Openda.

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Others are Rose Mbulo, Jackline Atieno and Judith Apiyo, who have also been key to Telkom’s success over the years.

“I have no worries because I believe in the abilities of these ladies. They have worked very hard and have walked the journey with the club,” said Openda.

“They are not just players but also mentors and role models who younger players look up to and I believe they will protect the legacy of the club,” he said.

Openda added that soon, relevant authorities in the club will announce his successor.

He said he will not be abandoning Telkom altogether but he will be playing a behind the scene role.

“I’m still with Telkom and I will be playing another role. I will always be available whenever the team needs me for guidance.”

The new coach will have her work cut out as she seeks to guide the team locally and internationally.

Telkom are eying their 11th continental title this year. Under Openda, Telkom ruled the continent for five years; from 2012 to 2016.

They relinquished their crown in 2017 to Ghana Revenue Authority in 2017 but determined to sign off in style, Openda guided Telkom to reclaiming the title in December last year before calling it a day.

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