NAIROBI, Kenya- Nine-time Africa women hockey champions, Telkom, have embarked on elaborate preparations to reclaim the title they lost to hosts Ghana Revenue Authority last month.
Telkom will be seeking to dethrone the Ghanaian outfit who edged them 1-0 in the continental finals last month, halting their storming run in the competition.
Head coach, Jos Openda, said he has been inspired to go for the trophy following his 20th Kenya Hockey Union Women Premier League victory at City Park Stadium in Nairobi over the weekend.
He added several changes in the team are on the cards as he focuses to win a 10th African crown this season.
“Some of my players were not equal to the task in Ghana. We lost the finals because some did not put in a 100 per cent effort.
“I want a sharp striking force ahead of the 2018 season whose kick off is just around the corner,” Openda told SportPesa News.
Openda has warned local and regional rivals to brace for a tough show in the pitch as his mission is to win matches without conceding goals this year.
“Our goal keeper, Cynthia Akinyi, only conceded three goals in the league and two in the Africa championships. We want to minimize that by having a solid defence with unmatched striking force.
“It will be my joy to see Telkom lift the league unbeaten and without conceding. I’m setting these new standards because I want us playing on another level. Our aim is to win titles beyond Africa,” the coach underlined.
Openda is proud of some of his players who have already made a mark this year including Jackline Mwangi who bagged the league’s top scorer award with 28 goals and Akinyi who was voted the best keeper in Africa.
Akinyi also beat tennis sensations Ryan Randiek and Sneha Kotecha, and Africa middleweight boxing champion, Nick Okoth, to be the seventh recipient of the Sports Journalists Association of Kenya/StarTimes sports person of the month award for January.
The national team first choice keeper was awarded a StarTimes 42-inch digital television set and KSh100,000 for her ability to be impressive in between the posts.
The 2017 KHU men’s Premier League title was reclaimed by the Kenya Police who lost the diadem to Butali Sugar Warriors in 2014.Police won 25 out of 28 league matches to lift the trophy with 77 points.