Ngara returns to hockey league

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Feb 07, 2015
  • Ngara start their campaign against regulars Hillcrest Secondary at Moi Nairobi Girls.

Ngara Girls will return to the Nairobi Secondary Schools Girls Hockey league as the 2015 season kicks off this weekend at the Moi Nairobi Girls School.

They missed playing in the league last year after some poor communication saw their name left out of the fixtures but coach Meshack Muange says that was a blessing in disguise to them as it has hardened his players.

“We were prepared to play last year and had even make all the necessary preparation to be in the league but to our shock we came to learn that the league had started without our knowledge. We however think that was a blessing to us as we were able to train hard and even when the league had ended the girls kept on training. And now that the league is here we are really ready for the debut," he added.

Ngara have been grouped in Pool C alongside last year’s runners up Pangani Girls, Kianda, Kenya High and Hillcrest Secondary. The event has attracted 13 schools divided into three pools.

Hosts and defending champions Moi Nairobi Girls are drawn in Pool A alongside Loreto Convent Msongari, State House Girls and Parklands Arya. Pool B has last year’s semi finalists Mt. Laverna Girls, former Nairobi powerhouse St.George’s, Buruburu Girls and Precious Blood Riruta.

It will beinteresting to see which team bags the first points to take an early lead in the league standings in the month-long tournament which will eventually culminates in the finals to be held next month in Nairobi.

Ngara are focused on winning matches and making an immediate impact by reaching the knockouts in their debut season. “We are determined to go all the way if possible up to the Metropolitan Games and even the national games,” said coach Muange.

Ngara will open their campaign against Hillcrest in match that the regulars are favourites but Muange feels the match will give his side the tempo for the whole tournament. “Hillcrest are an experienced side and will enter the match as favourites. But we will do our best and learn from them and probably use that experience for the coming matches,” he said.

Muange will depend on his captain Michelle Mungai, defender Michelle Kimondo and strikers Cindy Aluoch and Ann Nyambura to lead the sides. Their second match will be against Pangani.

Most talented side

On the other hand, the Amai Olubai-led Moi Nairobi Girls will step on their home turf with an objective of starting on a winning note. Olubai believes this is the most talented side he has ever had in years and is confident they will put on a good show as they seek their title defense.

“This is a talented side by all means. I am sure they will put on a good show throughout the campaign,” Olubai said. Moi Girls start their campaign against Parklands Arya before taking on Loreto Msongari.

Pangani Girls plan to go one better and finish last year's unfinished job. With also talented players in the squad, Pangani are among the favorites. Though they might not have many big names but have a good side with talented and spirited players.

Considered the dark horses of the competition, State House under former national team keeper Flavian Amukhaya is ready to take everyone by surprise.

The top two teams in each pool after the preliminaries shall proceed to the quarter finals along with two teams among the three third placed teams. These two teams will be determined through a round robin playoff among the three.

The winner and runner-up in the Nairobi County games will represent Nairobi at the Metropolitan region games with the regional games having teams from Nairobi, Makueni, Kajiado and Machakos counties. The winner at the regional games proceeds to the National games.