Blow for Telkom

Financial woes force Telkom to release their youthful players

The 10-time African Club champions are economically burdened.

In Summary

•Until this year, the Kenya Queens had won 21 Premier League titles and conquered Africa 10 times

•The trio were not involved in the weekend victories against Sailors and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. 

Telkom's Elinah Chebet (L) trails Grace Akumu of USIU Spartans during a past KHU league clash
Telkom's Elinah Chebet (L) trails Grace Akumu of USIU Spartans during a past KHU league clash
Image: FILE

Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) women’s Premier League defending champions Telkom may lose talented prodigies Elinah Chebet, Joan Anjao and Rose Akoth due to financial constraints facing the club.

The 10-time African Club champions are economically burdened after Telkom ended their 30-year relationship with the club in June.

Until this year, the Kenya Queens had won 21 Premier League titles and conquered Africa 10 times. The communication firm stopped sponsoring the club in what was termed as a ‘review of its brand asset strategy”.

The cash-strapped club could be without their Under-20 players for an unspecified period because they can no longer facilitate their training and matches.

The trio were not involved in the weekend victories against Sailors and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. Coach Jos Openda said the club had made a decision of allowing the players rejoin their families citing lack of funds. “The management has tried their best to back the players financially but they seem to have reached a dead-end,” he said.

In a move that could have far-reaching effects on the club, the long-serving tactician has called on corporate to rescue them from bankruptcy. He was non-committal on their participation in the African Club Championship scheduled for December in Egypt.

“It is very unfortunate that we are not able to get hold of our young players. Financial constraints after the sponsorship withdrawal has taken a toll on us. We have sent the three girls back to their families.”

He said some of the players they have released including Chebet are very talented and they will definitely miss their services.

“Chebet is talented and so are the rest. She has been in the national team and we miss her goal scoring exploits as a club. We have been lucky to have them but it’s a pity they are not with the team at the moment.,” he added.

On the field the team has continued with its impressive form, opening a 12-point gap atop the table and are on course to win their 22nd league title. The club had a record eight players in the national team in the recently concluded African Olympic qualifiers.