The cradle of Wazalendo hockey youth team

The Wazalendo Youth hockey team was created at the beginning of the 2012 league season. The team participated in the Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) national league for the first time in the same season where they emerged position 9 out of 16 teams that participated in that league. This was quite a feat considering that players who had been drafted into this team had never played together as a team before. So the big question and usually to non-members of the club or even to some new club members is, “what was the objective of the Wazalendo Hockey Club starting the Wazalendo youth team?” Indeed one may ask what the main goal was when the team was created considering the Main Wazalendo team has been largely successfully in the Kenya hockey scene.

Believe it or not, the Club has the largest number of talented Players in the country. This being the case and knowing the limitation of a team list, not all players could get playing time in the main team. This therefore meant that something had to be done to assure the players not selected for the main team of some competitive playing time in the league. This then led to the formation of the Youth team to ensure that all the club members who are part of the playing unit get play time and improve. There were perceptions by some that the youth team is a stepping stone where players who performed well would be singled out and promoted to the senior team. However, this can only stand if the entire Youth team players do not challenge themselves to better their performance in the national league from season to season. Indeed, if the Youth team wins the national league, nothing would stop them from earning a slot in the premier league and challenge for top honors there. This may spell doom for the so called ”Main” or senior team.

Therefore even though the team name has “Youth” in it, this is a team of its own, which despite having the same coaches, team managers etc as the main team; it independently seeks to perform in the field without basking in the glory of the main team.

So what are we looking at in the Youth team going into the new season; its second season of its existence. The team has so far participated in two tournaments in the pre-season. First was the Nairobi Hockey Association tournament held on 23rd and 24th February 2013 where the team was eliminated in the group stage. More information about the team’s performance in this tournament has been captured here. The second pre-season tournament where the team took part was this past weekend on 20th and 21st April 2013. This was the Vaisakhi tournament where they were pooled against Greensharks and Parklands sports club in pool B. The team earned an identical 0-0 draw against both sides, earning themselves  a place in the quarter finals against 2012 Premier League champions Nairobi Simba. The team showed much courage matching the opponents in every department but conceded a penalty corner in the dying minutes of the game which was converted via a drag flick hence being eliminated in the tournament with their heads held high.

From the outcome of the two pre-season tournaments, the Youth team has all to play for in the new season. The team members have gelled and the general feeling is that the sky is the limit. Some of the players already have their eyes set on winning the national league and thus gain promotion to the Premier league next season.

If the inconsistency of the previous season is a thing of the past for this youthful team, then we only await to witness the good report of their performance in the imminent 2013 season. Therefore all of us at the editorial team of Waza Media wish the team all the best as they go into the new season.

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