DEFENDING CHAMPIONS PLAY IN APRIL

Munialo keen to get started at Butali

The Kenya Hockey Union League serves off this weekend with one women's Premier League match pitting Sailors against Orange Leonas.

In Summary

• I feel relieved because I would have missed a match if we were to play before March 8, which is the deadline for arbitration.

• The African Hockey Federation has finally announced dates for 2021 African Cup of Nations 2021.

Butali's Calvins Kanu (L) drives the ball past Abraham Musee of Chase Sailors during their KHU league match at the City Park Stadium
Butali's Calvins Kanu (L) drives the ball past Abraham Musee of Chase Sailors during their KHU league match at the City Park Stadium
Image: /ERIC BARASA

Kennedy Munialo is hoping to sort out his transfer issues in time for Butali’s Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) Premier League opener.

The serves off this weekend with one women’s Premier  League match, pitting Sailors against Orange Leonas.

The men’s top tier will commence on March 21 but Butali will begin their title defence on April 4 against returnees Parkroad Badgers.

Munialo said the fact that Butali’s matches will start two weeks after league kick-off, favours his plans. Munialo was expected to miss the opener had Butali been scheduled to play on the opening weekend.

The utility player’s move from Wazalendo to Butali will be arbitrated by the KHU governing council in the coming days even as he continues to train with Butali.

He, however, believes the time between the kick-off and their first match will be sufficient for him to strike an understanding with the rest of the players. The Kenya International said he wants to improve his passing of the ball to suit Butali style.

“I feel relieved because I would have missed a match if we were to play before March 8, which is the deadline for arbitration. Now, I have the opportunity to even train harder and create chemistry with the rest of the squad. I need to better my passing to fit perfectly into the team,” he added.

He said: “There’s depth in the squad and with the rotation policy, the players can stay fit. The league can only be won with consistency and squad depth.”

Butali captain is impressed by Munialo’s professionalism and hopes he will add value to the midfield. “We needed a pacy player and his attributes suit the team.”

Meanwhile, the African Hockey Federation has finally announced dates for the 2021 African Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Sikh Union Stadium is likely to host the event scheduled for May 11-17. However, KHU president Nashon Randiek said the decision will be made later with City Stadium also a likely venue to host the show.