Otieno: We selected team from those who trained

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Oct 10, 2017
  • Lilian Aura will captain the national women's hockey team to Egypt. (SNA. File Photo)

Lack of bus fares to enable players attend national women hockey team training influenced the naming of the final team to this year's Africa Cup of Nations set for Ismailia, Egypt from October 22-29.

Head coach Willis Otieno said that failure by majority of players from his provisional squad to turn up for training at City Park Stadium during training days forced him to go with a totally different team from what he had planned to name for the continental showpiece.

“As much as I would have wished to get new players into the team, I was not able to do that because most of the players that had selected in the provisional team, didn’t turn up for training at all or they came for only a few training sessions," Otieno stated.

He added: "You can only select someone who turns out for training. So I was forced into doing that because of conditions beyond me and my colleagues [selectors],” Otieno told Sports News Arena.

“We were faced with issues of players missing training because they lacked bus fares to enable them join the rest for training.'

Otieno urged the hockey management in Kenya to address the issue in future so that good players who deserve to wear the national colors fail to get selected.

“It’s very unfortunate that this had to happen. We were forced to use whom we had. I hope those concerned will address the issue so that no deserving player will miss training and probably miss out selection.'

Three comebacks

Strathmore University defender Jane Muragu was the only new face in the team that also has three comebacks. USIU-A duo of Sandra Vodoti, Rachael Wangui and Amira Sailor’s Pauline Naise are making a comeback in a squad that will be captained by Telkom’s Lilian Aura.

Aura replaces Doreen Hongo who has been left out alongside Ndombella Sikwattah, Glennis Namasake and Anita Agunda.

Otieno attributed Muragu’s selection on her current performance in the league where she has been the key to Strathmore’s good defense.

“She is arguably one of the best tacklers in the league so far. She has really improved and we hope she be a key player in the team."

Veteran Terry Juma has once again won the selectors confidence and will be key in Kenya’s defense alongside club mates at Telkom Rachael Ousa and Flavian Mutiva.

On Kenyan chances at the championships, the former men’s national team player said Kenya had a chance of going through to the next round due to the experience that the team has.

“We have a very experienced side with players who with a number of international caps. I am confident they will be up to the task and who are ready to do it for the country,” he said.

He singled out Ghana as Kenya’s main threat at the championship.


Goalkeepers: Cynthia Onyango (Telkom Orange), Rachel Kerubo (Amira Sailors). Defenders: Rachel Ousa, Flavia Mutiva (Telkom Orange), Jane Muragu, Elizabeth Ngombo (Strathmore University), Terry Juma (Telkom Orange).

Midfielders: Aura Lilian (Captain, Telkom Orange), Sandra Vodoti (USIU-A), Tracy Karanja, Caroline Guchu (Telkom Orange), Rachael Wangui (USIU-A), Yvonne Karanja (Strathmore University).

Forwards: Pauline Naise (Amira Sailors), Maureen Okumu, Audrey Omaido (Telkom Orange), Rhoda Nyambura (USIU-A), Gilly Okumu (vice captain, Strathmore University).