After defending the Kenya Hockey Union men’s Premier League title four times in a row, Butali Sugar Warriors now want to deliver the Africa Cup for Club Championship crown.
The continental event will be held at at the Sikh Union in Nairobi from February 13-16.
Butali lost 1-0 against perennial rivals Kenya Police at the City Park Hockey Stadium in Nairobi as the 2022 season ended on Sunday.
Butali’s incredible run saw them record one loss in the 10-team league and their team manager Kamal Sembi says they want to return to the annual event with a bang.
Butali last participated in the continental in 2017 in Nairobi where they won bronze before they missed subsequent events due to financial constraints.
“We are glad Kenya is hosting the event. We will be part of the action and we want our presence to be felt. We have won the league title since 2018 and it’s unfortunate we haven’t been able to gauge our performance at the continental stage but now the chance is here.
The management under the guidance of Managing Director Sanjay Patel has been supportive of the team and we want to repay their trust in us. We know there are pretty good teams that will be part of the bonanza and that makes it even better and we are ready to give it our best shot,” said Sembi.
Butali will be in the company of Police, who finished with 40 points from 18 matches three points behind the league champions.
At the same time, women’s Premier League champions Strathmore University Scorpions will also be aiming to make it a memorable double at the continental event.
Scorpions’ last participation was in 2017 in Accra where they placed fifth in six-team event.
Scorpions coach Meshack Senge said they want to extend their momentum to the championships.
“The players are in form and raring to go. We will resume training on Tuesday since we don’t want to slow the momentum,” said Senge.
The students ended the season unbeaten with 34 points from 12 matches to secure their maiden league title.
They will be joined by former African champions Blazers who finished second in the league.