Handball: Nairobi Water coach optimistic after continental club champions draw
Reigning Kenya Handball Federation (KHF) women league champions Nairobi Water head coach Jack Sandan has remained confident that his charges will perform well in the 38th Africa Clubs Championship that is set for Burkina Faso later in October.
According to the draw that was conducted on Wednesday night at the Confederation of Africa Handball (CAHB) head office in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Nairobi Water has been pooled in Group D alongside defending champions Primero from Angola, TKC of Cameroon and new comers Bandama HBC from Ivory Coast.
Group C has FAP from Cameroon, HC Heritage from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), ASPAC from Benin and hosts AS ONEA.
“This will be a tricky group for us because we have never played against any of these clubs in our previous outing. The draw has never favored us in any way since we started taking part in the club championship but we will have to go by what the draw says,” said the coach.
“Last year we finished in the 11th position, the last position because we were in a very difficult group. TKC is a good side, we have watched them play and Primero is also a good side. Bandama is coming into the championship for the first time and we are looking forward to at least win a match to be in a better place. If we can’t win a match, it will be very difficult for us because we will be paired with a stronger team from group C,” added Sandan.
The tactician has however remained cautious because he will miss several key players like Merina Andala,Cicilia Katheu,Tracy Awino and Jane Waithera who are out on maternity leave while Mitchelle Adhiambo who returns from maternity leave is struggling to be fit for the trip.
“The absence of key players in this edition will have a very big impact but we will use the players we have at this time. Adhiambo has been training but she has to be fit for the trip. With the absence of seasoned and experienced players, the new players will have to work extra hard for us to get positive results,” he said.
The team has intensified training at the Nyayo National Stadium ahead of their league fixture set for this weekend.