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MISSING IN ACTION: Birir, Nondi out of Ghana hockey trip

HOCKEY By Elizabeth Mburugu | September 7th 2016
USIU Lorraine Nondi(l) hit the ball as Orange Lillian Aura blocks when they played Women League with Strathmore at Citypark. Orange scored 2-0. 0N 02/11/14 PHOTO:JENIPHER WACHIE

Former men’s national hockey team captain Richard Birir and women’s utility player Lorraine Nondi will not feature in this year's International Hockey Federation (FIH) World League One in Accra, Ghana.

Their exclusion from the travelling contingent came as a surprise considering that the two have been instrumental in previous international duties.

Birir, a Kenya Police player has been instrumental in his club’s assignments. He also captained the national team during the 2014 World League One in Nairobi. The duo’s last assignment with the national team was during the 2015 Continental Olympic Qualifier in South Africa.

National team manager Godfrey Bila said there were many factors that were considered during selection of the team.

"Competition for slots was quite high and we based our selection on growth and performance. He (Birir) was not at his best and thus didn’t make the cut for this assignment, but we need him for future events," Bila said.

Birir, on his part, said his exclusion could have been due to inconsistency in training.

"I was not consistent during training and that might have contributed to my current poor form. Nonetheless, I wish the team well and hope to be considered for future assignments,’’ Birir said

Nondi, a former United States International University-Africa player, who switched allegiance to league debutants Amira Sailors, was part of the team that featured in both the World League One and World League Two.

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Chase Sailors' captain George Mutira will captain the men's team, while Doreen Hongo of Strathmore University will lead the women’s brigade. Kenya will launch their campaign for a spot in World League Two against Nigeria on Friday.

Bila said the teams are expected to travel to the West African country tomorrow.

“We are experiencing financial problems, but if all goes well, the teams will leave on Thursday.”

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