Fireworks expected in President Cup hockey

23Feb 2017
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Fireworks expected in President Cup hockey

NATIONAL men's hockey team face Zambia in the inaugural edition of the Africa Hockey Federation (AfHF) President Cup tournament's duel at the Sikh Union Complex in Arusha today.

It will be an opportunity for the hosts to bolster their pursuit of securing a place in this year's Africa Cup of Nations tournament which has been slated to take place in South Africa in July.

The Arusha competition, as disclosed by Doshi, serves as a qualifying tournament for the major continental showpiece, with winners in the men and women categories in the former qualifying for the latter.

With victory for the hosts in today's game being extremely crucial for the team's chances to progress to the South Africa tournament, the outfit is expected to throw everything in the game and bring smiles on the faces of members of the domestic hockey fraternity.

Tanzania men's hockey team is expected to bank on, among others, experienced players Amos Nghambala, Elias Samala, Deep Visram, Sultani Issa and Abdallah Madodo to get the better of Zambia.

Nghambala, Samala and Madodo are also dependable members of Tanzania People's Defense Forces (TPDF) hockey outfit and the trio has been instrumental in the army team's success in domestic competitions in recent year's.

Visram plays for Dar Khalsa outfit in domestic club competitions and he was among the team's players who guided it to victory over TPDF in the final of the Dar es Salaam regional hockey league to ultimately lay hands on the top honour.

Issa features for Dar Stars and his skilful displays have helped the team hold its own against the rest of the outfits in domestic competitions.

Most of the members of the men’s team featured for the squad in thelast year’s Africa Cup of Nations tournament in South Africa, thus, they will have opportunity to deploy the experience they gained from the event in the AfHF President Cup.

Tanzania men's hockey team was expected to confront Malawi in the opening match at the venue yesterday evening.

Malawi and Zambia have been scheduled to clash in the last round-robin stage's game in the men's category on Saturday afternoon.

The top two teams in the men's category, as revealed by the organisers, will meet in the final to get the event's winners.

With the competition's women's catewgory consisting of two teams, the organisers said, the teams will clash in the best of three games' format to get the tournament's winners.

The hosts' women outfit will face Zambia in the remainder of the three-game series on Sunday afternoon.The men's category final will take place later in the afternoon.