Three Kenyan men’s clubs will be out reclaim the East and Central Africa Handball Championship crown when the competition gets underway on Sunday at the Nyayo National Stadium, handball court.
Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) and Black Mamba are eying glory at the annual competition.
NCPB, who have won the title a record 10 times, were the last local men’sclub to win the title in 2012 but have faded off ever since.
KDF won the title once in 1998, while Black Mamba, who finished second in last year’s edition, are eyeing a maiden title.
KDF, who were third in the 2014 edition also held in Nairobi, will be out to end the season with a double after retaining their league title last weekend.
Team Manager Sammy Mwangangi believes his charges will finally end their 18-year drought for the title.
“Morale is high in the squad, especially after we won our third league title and the lads want to end the year on a high by winning the regional crown,” Mwangangi told Daily Nation Sport.
“I think our main opposition will come from NCPB as well as Congo Police but we are confident we can topple both clubs.”
The team will however be without first choice keeper Edwin Cheti who has left for Somalia on work assignment. The team missed last year’ edition held in Rwanda.
Record winners NCPB will certainly be the team to beat as they seek to win an 11th title at the 28th edition of the championship. NCPB coach Paul Pudo, who played when the team last won the title, will be hoping to win it as coach this time.
“History is behind us and I hope the lads can use it as a motivation in the quest for another title. Since 2012, we have fared badly at the competition but we are back to stamp our authority, ” Pudo said.
Mamba on the other hand, will hope to one better this year and end the season with some piece of silverware. The team look certain to finish fourth in the national league and winning the regional showpiece, will be counted as a successful campaign.
The morale is high in the playing unit and our objective is to improve on our last year’s performance,” said Mamba coach Martin Abunde.
Men’s champions Rwanda Police are among the 13 clubs expected to feature at this year’s competition.