Kenya Police and Sailors to kick off KHU league on April 3
Kenya Police Willis Okeyo dribble ball during Premier League match against Sikh Union at City Park stadium Nairobi on Wednesday, Oct 30, 2019. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Former champions Kenya Police Hockey Club will kick off this year’s delayed Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) Men’s Premier League season with a match against Sailors Hockey Club on April 3.

KHU released the 2021 fixtures yesterday after previously rolling out strict measures on the return of hockey in the country after more than a year out due to covid-19 pandemic.

In the fixtures, five matches will highlight the league’s opening weekend of April 3rd and April 4th, with three matches in the men’s premier league and two in the women’s category.

After Police opening the season against Sailors, Strathmore University will take on Greensharks on April 4 before Parkroad Badgers taken on defending champions Butali Warriors.

In the women’s premier league, Amira Sailors will kick off the season with a tie against newcomers Oranje Leonas on April 3 before Strathmore University play another new side in DFG Wolverines the following day.

Another set of five matches will follow for each preceding weekend of the league which will be played in one leg round robin format where the table toppers at the end of the league in June 20 will be declared champions.

Kisumu outfit Lakers Hockey Club will open their account against Amira Sailors in Kisumu on May 2 before travelling to face Sliders and Oranje Leonas at the end of the month in Nairobi.

With five of their seven matches to be played in Kisumu, Lakers Team manager John Paul Otieno said they are happy with the union for solving their heavy financial burden they always face when playing a majority of their games in Nairobi.

“We are a self-sponsored club depending on well-wishers and each other to honor away matches but am glad the union remembered us during this project restart especially after the pandemic. Its fair for us considering all teams are in Nairobi and now we have to prepare well,” he said.

Otieno also said they are ready for the season after resuming training earlier this year after the government allowed hokey to return to play.

“The girls are almost getting to their full match fitness. I believe by the time we play our first match in May we will be physically and mentally fit to play. This season despite all the hiccups we have to fight for the top spot,” he added.

Lakers finished fourth in KHU women’s premier league standings on their on their debut in the 2019-2020 season with 21 points after winning five matches, drawing six and losing only three games in 14 outings.

Blazers were crowned the 2019 champions after finishing the season unbeaten with 38 points as Butali Warriors won in the men’s category.

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