Kampala Hockey Club (KHC) have to negotiate local side Kilivijana today and Kenya’s Mvita XI in Pool A tomorrow as they seek to reach the semi-finals of the Phoenix Hockey Championships in Tanga, Tanzania.
Though KHC are happy to avoid Kenya Police, who tormented them in the last two editions of this tourney, the 1-0 shock-loss to Kilivijana last year is still fresh in their memories. The Tanga-based side fielded a young and inexperienced side but still managed to ensure that KHC just like Mvita lost both of their pool games.
KHC will seek revenge without the services of some of their best attackers. Club top scorer Habib Sewava (93 goals in 200 games) and fly-winger Dulf Musoke stayed home just like midfielders Moses Nsereko and Saddam Hussein. KHC have to hugely depend on Albert Kimumwe and the industrious Joshua Gumisiriza to find the back of the net.
Despite exiting at the group stages during the three previous editions of this regional championship, KHC hope to build on this season’s local success, albeit on a grass turf.
“We had very good preparations by training and winning trophies on different grass pitches,” Nsereko who captained the team to glory during the Smack Open said.
On grass this year; KHC won the Smack Open in Kisubi (March) and also managed a second place and semi-final finish at the Namagunga Open (July) and Maseno Championships in Kenya (February) respectively.
“Since we are playing on grass we shall employ a diamond formation such that we have depth in attack and quick cover when on the back foot,” Kawalya said.
Kawalya hopes that he can rush veteran Faustine Ojangole into the side to marshal the defense after being previously sidelined by a knee injury for one month.