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Orange set sight on more silverware

With a Sh 15.5 million sponsorship on board, African hockey club champions and domestic league holders Telkom Orange are aiming for another successful year on both the national and continental front.

Orange will get their league title defence on Sunday against Vikings as they chase a record breaking 18th title this season.

The champions saw off rivals Strathmore 3-2 on penalties last season to retain their title and club coach Jos Openda is expecting another close season especially with the reintroduction of the home and away format.

The team has not signed any new players like some of their rivals but Openda has been scouting for talent in schools and will rely on the club’s second tier team, the Telkom Youngsters, to feed the main club with young upcoming talent.

“We have strong players already and on top of it we are also mounding new ones whom we believe can make it into the first team and help us achieve our targets this season as we focus on retaining both our titles,” Openda said.

COACH OF THE YEAR

Orange have lost forward Margaret Rotich to rivals Strathmore Scorpions but the tactician believes the team will not be short of goals this season.

Openda, who was voted the 2014 Soya Award’s Coach of the Year, believes his team will face a greater challenge at the African Club Championship where the ‘African Queens’ will be going for a unprecedented eighth crown in Egypt later this year.

Orange beat Bulawayo Athletics Club 4-0 in the final played in Zimbabwe last year to win a record seventh crown a feat that saw the team win the Team of the Year Award at the Soya Awards.

“We have not started preparations for the continental event but we have information that other teams are already up and running. This means that it will be an uphill task for us if we want to win the title again,” Opend told the Daily Nation.

Openda, however, noted that other clubs will not make it easy for his charges adding that they will have to work hard in order to have another successful campaign.

“Our success last season was not by fluke and we want to maintain our dominance both locally and in the continent. Our greatest weapon is discipline and hardwork, we must work twice as hard this season to win more titles because other teams are out to topple us,” the tactician said.