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Orange Telkom battle Ghana Police in opener

HOCKEY By Elizabeth Mburugu | December 13th 2015
Hockey Vaisakhi finals Orange Telkom ladies celebrate after winning Vaisakhi Tournament 2015 at City Park. ON 27/04/15 PHOTO: JENIPHER WACHIE

Africa hockey queens Orange Telkom face an acid test today as they begin their continental title defence against Ghanaian champions Ghana Police in their opening match at the Olympic Youth Stadium in Lusaka, Zambia.

The reigning Africa Cup of Club Championships (ACCC) title holders Orange are in pool A with the Ghana law enforcers and home girls Lusaka Sharks.

Orange will leave nothing to chance as they seek to defend their crown and win an eighth continental title. In an earlier interview with FeverPitch, Orange head coach Jos Openda said his charges will go for nothing less than the trophy.

“We will be on a title retention mission and will not rest until we have the trophy safely with us. I believe that we are the best hockey club on the continent and we will be out to prove that again,” he said.

Openda pointed out the Ghanaian clubs pose a major threat to their title ambitions, but concluded that his players were equal to the task ahead and will return the diadem home.

The clubs will be meeting for the first time, but some of the players will be familiar with one another having met while on national team duty.

Openda is expected to field his best in this tie with national team players, led by the ever green midfielder Audrey Omaido, Betsy Ommalla, Terry Juma, Tracy Karanja, Caroline Guchu, Glennis Namasake, Flavian Mutiva and goalkeeper Ruth Njoki.

Former number one goalkeeper Josephine Ataro, who returned from retirement, will compete with Njoki for a place in the goal.

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Orange players who took part in the continental Olympic qualifiers that were held in South Africa will not be familiar with Police players as the Ghana Police also field their best. Nafisatu Umaru, who was named the most valuable player at the South Africa showpiece, will be out to prove that she indeed deserved the award.

Others will be Serwaa Boakye, Abigail Boye, Linda Sasu, Cecilia Amoako and Martha Safoaa who all turned out for the silver medal winning Ghanaian national team.

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