- The men are hoping to qualify for the Summer Olympics for the first time since 1988 Seoul.
- Kenya finished third during the Africa qualifier for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, beating Ghana 4-3 in the play-off. South Africa once again got to represent the continent at the 2016 Rio Olympics after they beat Egypt 4-2 in the final.
There was only one change in the men’s team when the national hockey teams left the country on Saturday for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games Africa qualifiers.
Coaches from both teams exuded confidence of posting good results in the weeklong championships that start on Monday at Stellenbosch University, Cape Town.
Greensharks defender Clayton Luvanda, who fractured his finger in training has been replaced by Ken Munialo from Wazalendo in the men’s team that is captained by Butali Sugar Warriors defender Constant Wakhura deputised by experienced Kenya Police midfielder Willis Okeyo.
Strathmore University Scorpions’ Gilly Okumu will lead the women’s team that remained intact on departure.
Men’s head coach Meshack Senge, who served in the same capacity in the previous qualifiers for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, promised a different show altogether.
“We are not just going to participate but stake a serious acclaim there,” he said. “We train to win and for sure we are going for improved results by placing the best foot forward.”
The men are hoping to qualify for the Summer Olympics for the first time since 1988 Seoul.
Kenya finished third during the Africa qualifier for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, beating Ghana 4-3 in the play-off. South Africa once again got to represent the continent at the 2016 Rio Olympics after they beat Egypt 4-2 in the final.
Senge was quick to dispel the grumbles and murmurs over the radical changes that saw many experienced players locked out.
“Experience is what you can do on the pitch and some of the first caps have in the past done amazingly well,” explained Senge, adding that the youngsters in the team have the passion and desire to perform.
“There is complacency with older players and it’s better to go with the young and ambitious ones since it’s that strong mental frame and confidence that I give the players as a coach.”
Senge said that 10 of the players in the squad have been in the national team system before with eight making their debut.