Malungu backs Jaguars to claw Strathmore

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Mar 11, 2021
  • Michael Malungu (C), a former Kenya player who is coaching Western Jaguars is confident of beating Strathmore and Sikh Union, Nairobi.

Western Jaguars coach Michael Malungu is confident of his team could bounce back from a 6-1 loss to KCA-University in their last tour of Nairobi when they face Strathmore University Gladiators and Sikh Union in the Kenya Hockey Union league at City Park this weekend.

After beating Mombasa Sports Club 4-0, Jaguars lost 1-6 to KCA-U the following day in mid-January. Malungu’s side will play their first away match against two different sides.

Strathmore have collected crucial points in the league and could pose a big challenge to Western Jaguars while Sikh Union are unpredictable. Malungu said that his team has worked hard and hopes of doing well.

”We have been working hard. We have made some very good progress. I feel the group is getting stronger and I am sure our fortunes will turn around,” Malungu explained.

Recalling their last match in Nairobi, Malungu said the loss to KCA-U was a hard pill for them to swallow.   “The loss is still fresh in our minds because we didn’t expect that kind of a loss. We have lost in the past but this one was a difficult one to take,” he stated.

“We are very much looking to play again at City Park. The whole playing group is very positive and looking forward to play there once again. We have been studying our opposition and we hope to have a positive tour.”

The coach reckoned that once his forwards gain momentum they will stand a good chance of returning to Kakamega with all the six points. Apart from Amos Kibuchi who scored a goal each in last matches in Nairobi, Keith Machinji, Ken Ashimosi, Arden Ayuku will have the responsibility of scoring.

“The players we have on our roster at the moment are good enough to create a lot of chances and trouble the opponents,” Malungu insisted. ”We need to make sure that we convert the chances,” he added.

Strathmore University are coming from a 2-1 loss to Butali Sugar Warriors and will be using the Saturday’s match against the visitors to bounce back and move up two places to fifth in the standings.

Strathmore will also be in action on Sunday against Nakuru.

In the meantime, the Kenya Hockey Union has withdrawn the men and women's under-21 teams from the Africa Junior championship to be hosted by Namibia later this month. A brieff statement from KHU stated the withdrawal has been necessitated by lack of government support.

There were no detailas available from KHU how they intended to finance the team to the event. The statement read in part: " The withdrawal follows lack of government commitment and support to the national teams.  The teams have been in non residential training since January this year.  The Union forwarded a budget to the sports ministry on 15th of January and no response has been forthcoming. The tournament was earmarked for 18th to 28th of this month in Namibia."

The winners in Namibia will represent the continent in the world championships scheduled for November 2016.  

Fixtures

Saturday 12 March: Men's Premier League - Parklands Sports Club vs Park Road (2 p.m.), Mvita vs Nakuru (4 p.m.), Strathmore vs Western Jaguars (6 p.m.); National Men: Kimathi University v Kisumu Bay (3 p.m.) - Kisumu; Sunday 13 March: Men's Premier League - Mvita XI vs Park Road (9 a.m.), Nakuru vs Strathmore (11 a.m.), Western Jaguars v Sikh Union (1 p.m.); National Men: Karate Axiom vs Daystar University (3 p.m), Kimathi University v Kisumu Young Stars (9 a.m.) - Kisumu. All matches at City Park unless stated.