Experienced Butali Sugar Warriors keeper Linus Sang and Amira striker Pauline Naise were the surprise exclusions in the final men and women’s national hockey teams for the Africa qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games.
The week-long championships start on Monday next week at Stellenbosch University, Western Cape, South Africa.
Butali Sugar Warriors defender Constant Wakhura was named men’s team skipper and will be deputised by experienced Kenya Police midfielder Willis Okeyo.
Meshack Senge is the men team’s coach, Geoffrey Bila is the team manager while Vincent Muriuki the physiotherapist.
Strathmore University Scorpions' Gilly Okumu and Tracy Karanja will lead the women’s team that has Tom Olal as head coach and Jane Nyamogo as team manager.
The newcomers in the men's team are John Rioba (Wazalendo), who will be in defence, the Under-21 international Ivan Ludiali (Western Jaguars), who is deployed in the midfield and strikers Douglas Nyerere (Sailors) and Arnold Marango (KCA).
The women’s team is littered with newcomers with Lilian Aura (midfield), Caroline Guchu (midfield) and Flavia Mutiva (defence) all from Telkom, the notable experienced players.
The men’s team will be hoping to qualify for the Summer Olympics for the first time since 1988 Seoul games.
Kenya finished third during the Africa qualifiers for the 2016 Rio Olympics Games, beating Ghana 4-3 in the play-off. South Africa once again got to represent Africa in 2016 Rio Olympics, beating Egypt 4-2 in the final.
Kenyan women’s team also settled for third in the same qualifiers after beating Ghana 4-3 in the championships where South Africa claimed victory, hitting Egypt 4-2 in the final.
Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) fixture secretary Moses Majiwa Tuesday disclosed that they are not sure when the team will travel owing to lack of funding from the government.
KHU president Nahashon Randiek had on Monday expressed his fears that the team might not travel. Despite presenting a budget of Sh40 million to the Ministry of Sports in April this year, Randiek said nothing had been forthcoming.
Randiek said the budget was later slashed to Sh26 million but nothing has been forthcoming adding that what corked up everything was when the Kenya National Sports Council (KNSC) lumped together their budget with teams that are heading for the African Games in Casablanca, Morocco this month.
Goalkeepers: - Simon Odhiambo (Nairobi Simba), Prince Omollo (Parkroad Badgers),
Defenders: - Robert Masibo, Constant Wakhura (Butali Warriors), Paul Omariba (Strathmore), John Rioba (Wazalendo), Obare Otora (Greensharks), Clay Luvanda
Midfielders: - Franklin Wahongo (Strathmore), Ivan Ludiali (Western Jaguars), Moses Ademba (Butali Warriors), Francis Kariuki (Butali Warriors), Willis Okeyo (Kenya Police).
Forwards: - Festus Onyango (Strathmore), Douglas Nyerere (Sailors), Danston Baraza (Wazalendo), Arnold Marango (KCA), Amos Barkibir (Butali Warriors)
Goalkeepers: - Nouvelle Becca Ochia Awino (USIU), Cynthia Akinyi (Telkom).
Defenders: - Beatrice Mbugua (USIU), Anne Wanjiru (Strathmore), Flavia Mutiva (Telkom), Lucy Wangeci (Telkom)
Midfielders: - Grace Makokha Akumu (USIU), Harriette Omindi (USIU), Caroline Guchu (Telkom), Tracy Karanja (Telkom), Leah Omwadho (Amira), Lillian Aura (Telkom).
Forwards: - Rhoda Kuira (USIU), Gilly Okumu (Strathmore), Maureen Okumu (Telkom), Alice Aoko Owiti(Lakers), Ruth Adhiambo (Strathmore).