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Kenya names squad to play Uganda in Africa Cup of Nations test matches

HOCKEY By Washington Onyango | March 18th 2021
Captain Blazers, Tracy Karanja dribbles during a Hockey Premier League match against USIU at City Park on Sunday March 8, 2020. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

The Kenya national men and women hockey teams will today play Uganda in international test matches to be played at Sikh Union Hockey stadium in Parklands.

Kenya Hockey Union has organized for international test matches after five teams pulled out of the North-Eastern region qualifiers for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations to be held in Ghana early next year.

Speaking to The Standard Sport, KHU Secretary General Wickliffe Momanyi confirmed Kenya has qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations.

Momanyi however said that despite qualifying, the matches against Uganda will be vital since they will be overseen by both AHF and the International Hockey Federation (FIH).

“We have to win all these three matches to be able to collect all maximum points and improve our ratings as a nation. The rankings will be reviewed by FIH and that makes these matches not only friendlies but important test matches for us,” said Momanyi.

Kenya qualified for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations set to be held in Ghana after five teams pulled out of the North-Eastern region qualifiers.

The tournament was originally meant to be graced by six nations, fielding both male and female teams but only Kenya and Uganda confirmed participation hence they automatically qualify for ACN because only two teams per gender were meant to make the cut from the one-week long qualifier in Nairobi.

“As only one country, Uganda confirmed participation with both gender teams in addition to the host (Kenya), now there are only two nations participating.”

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“Based on this development, given the ongoing COVID-19 situation and to avoid any risks for all tournament stakeholders, the Africa Hockey Federation (AHF) Executive Board has decided to consider Kenya and Uganda as qualified for the upcoming event,” the AHF said.

Kenya women’s team will play Uganda on Thursday at 2.30pm before playing again on Saturday and Sunday same time.

On the other side, the Kenyan men’s team will play at 4.30 pm on the above said days.

Meanwhile, Kenya has named 20 players each to represent the nation in the test matches in the men’s and women’s categories.

In the women’s two Kisumu Lakers Hockey Club players will make their international debut in a team comprised of youth, experience and veterans.

From Kisumu, debutants Ashley Akinyi and Maurine Owiti will join their club mate Alice Owiti as Jeriah Osare, Gilly Okumu and Kipsang Tamunai were named from Starthmore.

Fiona Makena(USIU) and Maroline Wabomba(Daystar) will keep goal for Kenya as Caroline Guchu(Blazers), Tracy Karanja(Blazers), Maureen Okumu(Blazers), Leah Omwando(Sailors), Grace Okumu(USIU) and Elena Chebet(Blazers) seek to command the Kenyan midfield.

In the men’s team, Samuel Silong (USIU) and Paul Navangi(Jaguars) will keep goal for Kenya as Douglas Nyerere (Sailors), Robinson Omutekete (Jaguars), Richard Njuki (Wazalendo), Danstone Barasa (Wazalendo) lead the attacking line.

Kenya Hockey Women’s Team

Goalkeeper - Fiona Makena(USIU), Maroline Wabomba(Daystar)

Defenders - Mutiva Flavia(Blazers), Ashley Akinyi(Kisumu Lakers), Beverly Akoth(MMU), Lynn Mwangi(USIU)

Midfielders - Caroline Guchu(Blazers), Tracy Karanja(Blazers), Maureen Okumu(Blazers), Leah Omwando(Sailors), Grace Okumu(USIU), Elena Chebet(Blazers),

Attackers - Gilly Okumu (Strathmore), Alice Owiti(Kisumu Lakers), Lyn Kipsang(Strathmore), Grace Akoth (MMU), Maureen Owiti (Kisumu Lakers), Naomi Kemunto(USIU), Jeria Osare(Starthmore), Joan Anjao(Blazers)

Kenya Hockey Men’s Team

Goalkeepers  -Samuel Silong (USIU), Paul Navangi(Jaguars)           

Defenders - Constant Murunga Wakhura(Butali), Robert Papa Masibo (Police), John RIOBA(Wazalendo), Kennedy Munialo Mango (Butali), Edson Isaac Omukamani (Jaguars), Emmanuel Wiswa Awino (Jaguars)           

Midfielders - James Muthii (USIU), Victor Ogola (Sharks), Brian Nyabuto Ogenche(Strathmore), Moses Omamo(Sailors), Ivan Morgan Ludiali(Jaguars), Brian Mwangi (Parkroad)

Forwards - Douglas Nyerere (Sailors), Robinson Omutekete  (Jaguars), Richard Njuki (Wazalendo), Danstone Barasa (Wazalendo)

Reserve - Moses Mungai (Impala), Griffin Okombe (Wazalendo)

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