Kenya: Senge Wary of SA, Egypt Clout
National men’s hockey team tactician Meshack Senge has cited champions South Africa and Egypt as their main challenge in the Africa Cup of Nations tournament from September 26 to October 6 at City Park Stadium, Nairobi.
In 2007 when the championship was last staged South Africa bagged the gold with the North Africans taking the silver and Kenya settling for third place.
Speaking at City Park this week Senge said South Africa and Egypt will be a pain in the neck because they are always strong but he was quick to add he was expecting great things from his players who have worked extremely hard in preparation for the tournament and are determined to go all the way to the gold medal.
“We have been training for a while now and my charges are in form book and they cant wait to meet their competitors in the tourney,” he added.
“The last championship saw us make silly mistakes that were exploited by our opponents but this time around we are in a better place.”
He added that they learned a lot from the previous championship and were already working on ball positioning, technical touch and were finalising on the team cohesion which is a key factor for any team to be victorious.
The 10-day event will see South Africa, Egypt, Namibia, Nigeria, Seychelles, Ghana and Kenya taking part. The Kenya team play a build up match against Parklands Sports Club tomorrow ahead of the championship to gauge their state of preparedness.
Senge who also doubles up as Strathmore University coach in the Kenya Hockey Union national league has called on the Union to hasten plans to have the national team in residential camp at either at Moi Kasarani or the YMCA.
He said “Our intention was to go into the camp two weeks prior to the championship and we have communicated this to the Union, the union is yet to give us a nod. For this kind of championship where Africa’s top teams and players will be involved, it is only fair we get the opportunity to reside early in camp,” Senge noted.
Senge who has been guiding the national team for the last five years admits the funds they will receive from the Union will determine the number of players he will take to camp.
He said “I have 25 players who turn up for training daily and if all is well with the finances, I would like to take the whole squad to camp. But if we experience financial constraints then will select 18 players for camp”
Meanwhile the national league fixtures have been put on hold since most of the players are attached to the national team. The league will resume on October 5.