Orange Telkom captain Betsy Ommala was the biggest casualty as Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) released the men's and women's teams that will contest the upcoming Olympic qualifiers.
Omalla was stripped of the national women’s hockey team captaincy in one of the many changes made by the men’s and women’s technical benches ahead of the Olympic qualifiers set for South Africa later this month.
New faces including United International University-Africa upcoming goalkeeper Laurette Osasa made the cut in the provisional 21 squad released Sunday by the technical benches for both men and women’s teams
Telkom Orange trio of Jaqueline Jow, Hellen Chemutaia and goalkeeper Cynthia Anyango failed to impress the selectors and the technical bench headed by Jos Openda, Josephine Ataro and Willis ‘Sign’ Oketch.
Ommala who is the skipper of 17-time Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) champions, Telkom Orange, captained Kenya in the last assignment, World League 2 held in Uruguay and league 1 staged in Nairobi in addition to the Africa Cup of Nations but she was relieved of her duties with her place taken by Tracy Karanja.
KHU did not give any explanation why they took that drastic action though according to insiders, Ommala is accused by the Union for 'incitement' when she stood with players to protest the Union's decision to delay players’ allowances which accrued over two years. That position also costed Anyango her place in the national team though she had made it clear early this year that she ‘will never play for the national team’ after what she termed as ‘poor treatment by the union.’
"She is one of those players who was quoted in the media, in, fact she appeared on a local sport TV show to condemn what happened in Uruguay and that could have costed her the position," a source who requested for anonymity told FourFourTwomedia.
According to those familiar with the ongoings in the hockey ranks, Jow, 2012, 2013 and current top scorer and Chemutai were both dropped because they are ‘too slow’ (old). Kenya will be missing three top forwards-Margaret Rotich who has since shifted to Athletics and USIU-A passer Pauline Naise who has gone missing from the local scene.
Musasia dropped for personal differences
There was no much changes in the men’s team save for Butali Sugar Warriors’ creative midfielder Brian Musasia who was not called up. Musasia, a former HC Superbha (France), Kenya Police and Strathmore University player was omitted for the squad due to what FourFourTwoMedia understand is personal differences with head coach Meshack Senge. Musasia has hit top form this season in the local hockey league, scoring in Butali’s last three matches.
Chase Sailors’ forward George Mutira who was suspended by KHU for participating in a non-sanctioned tournament in Tanzania last year has been called back to the squad. Zack Oura who played for Kenya in the Africa Cup of Nations before missing the word league 1 assignment retained the Captaincy.
Kenya is preparing for the Continental Olympics qualifiers to be staged in South Africa between October 23 and November 1.
Men’s Provisional Squad: Linus Kipkemboi, Allqn Agesa, Kenneth Nyongesa, Constant (Vice Captain) Wakhura, Richard Birir, Maxwell Wakhungu, Jonathan Walupi, Joseph Obare, Bill Olang, Brian Saina, Willis Okeyo, Allan Inungu, Barnabas Odhiambo, Derick Kuloba, Francis Esikuri, Zack Aura, George Mutira, Samuel Wokila, Clayson Luvanda
Women’s Provisional Squad: Ruth Njoki, Laurette Osaso, Teresa Nekesa, Loraine Nondi, Caroline Njoki, Betsy Ommala, Flavia Mutivia, Rachael Njogu, Lilian Aura, Tracy Karanja (Captain), Glennis Namasake, Caroline Guchu, Audrey Omaido, Yvonne Jaranja,Irene Ofula, Gilly Okumu, Juma Ann-Najala, Maureen Okumu, Beatrice Ouso, Beatrice Mbugua
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