Kenya Hockey Union Premier League leaders Butali Sugar Warriors are keen on this year’s African Club Championships in Abuja, Nigeria after missing the past two editions held in Ghana and Zimbabwe
Butali team manager Kamal Sembi said they are hoping to be part of the December 19-24 event even though they are yet to receive official communication from the KHU about their participation.
“We will be happy to go and represent the country after missing out in previous editions because of one reason or the other. We are aware this year’s event is set for Nigeria but we are waiting for communication from KHU,” noted the official.
“I believe we have a good crop of players who can challenge for the title and if all goes well, who knows we might be in Nigeria to bring home the trophy that has remained elusive. We all know how draining it can get if you get the invite late. Getting release letters for players from their respective employers and the documentation process becomes a handful.”
Butali and their local rivals, Kenya Police played second fiddle to eventual winners Eastern Company of Egypt in 2016 in Nairobi. Kenya Police succumbed to visitors 3-2 on penalty shootouts to finish second while Butali secured bronze after beating Ghana Police 3-0 in the play-off tie.
The official noted they are not resting on their laurels even as they lead the local league with 42 points from 15 matches, 12 ahead of Police — who have four games in hand. Sembi said it will be too early to term them favourites but noted they want to go all the way and reclaim the trophy they won last in 2015.
“It is a good feeling that we are currently topping the standing but we will not be complacent, knowing very well that a slip up will be an advantage to our opponents. We are keen to give our best shot in every match and see what happens from there,” he said.