Home » General » Strathmore Turn Focus On Play-Offs After Flopping in Bulawayo

AFTER posting dismal performance in the just concluded Africa Cup of Clubs hockey Championship in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Strathmore University are ready to make amends in the women’s Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) national league play-offs set for this weekend at the City Park Stadium.

The students finished fourth behind Orange Telkom, hosts Bulawayo Athletics Club and Ghana Revenue Authority, who took the top three places.

Strathmore coached by Meshack Senge, will tackle United States International University of Africa (USIU-A) in the first semi while newly crowned Africa Club champions Telkom will battle sliders in the other semi.

In an interview, Strathmore coach Senge admitted they performed below expectations but exuded confidence of staging a good fight in the national play-offs. “We may be down but definitely not out,” he said.

Senge attributed their poor show to players’ failure to take aantage of the open chances that came their way. Senge, a former national team player, said the girls lost concentration after they lost to hosts Bulawayo Athletics Club 1-2 in the semis.

“We faltered in the just ended championship and in a way, the event exposed our shortcoming. Poor finishing and defence were our main undoing,” observed Senge.

“We are still in the run for the national league title and we hope to give a good account of ourselves. Last season, we finished second and we hope to pick from where we left and go all the way to the finals. We have learnt important lessons which we intend to use to our aantage.”

“We had hoped for an all Kenyan women’s final but it never came to pass. After poor officiating in the semi final that saw us lose to hosts, the players mental recovery failed and things were not any different during thirdfourth play-off,” he explained.

Senge noted that the sport is gradually becoming competitive in Africa and Kenya will need to be ready. “If the performance at the just ended event is anything to go by, then in future there will be no clear favourites. There is need for the local clubs to invest in the sport,” he noted.

Reached for comment, Orange coach Jos Openda echoed Senge’s sentiments. “Hockey has become more competitive in Africa. But then again, I am happy we retained the trophy for the third time.

We would like to dedicate the trophy to the late Betty Tioni who passed on early this year. Tioni was instrumental in our last win in Uganda and it is only fair that we accord her the trophy,” Openda noted.

Source : The Star