What you need to know:
- With the squad a blend of youth and experience, Mwangi noted that she is building the team for future assignments
- With the exit of Karanja who was the captain, United States International University of Africa (USIU-A) midfielder Rhoda Kuira was handed the armband and will be assisted by Alice Owiti of Lakers Club from Nyanza
- Men's assistant coach Michael Malungu acknowledged that they are in tough pool but insists they will go flat out for a better performance
Experienced duo of Caroline Guchu and Tracy Karanja are the surprise exclusions from the Kenya women's team that will participate in next week's African Cup of Nations Championship in Accra, Ghana.
The quadrennial event is set for January 17 to 23 at the Theodosia Ukoh Hockey Stadium.
Guchu and Karanja who plays for Blazers Club have played for the national team for a decade.
Speaking after naming the final squad of 19 players at City Park Stadium in Nairobi on Thursday, women's team coach Jacqueline Mwangi said it was a difficult and tough decision that had to be made.
"It was a vigorous process but I'm happy with the squad and I have full confidence in it. It was hard to drop some of the players but also we have new and young players who are thirsty and hungry and willing to do the job. This is the team that we have selected and my prayer is that we support them and we are hopeful of a good outing," said Mwangi.
With the squad a blend of youth and experience, Mwangi noted that she is building the team for future assignments.
With the exit of Karanja who was the captain, United States International University of Africa (USIU-A) midfielder Rhoda Kuira was handed the armband and will be assisted by Alice Owiti of Lakers Club from Nyanza.
The women's team, who are in Pool 'B' will start off their campaign against Zambia on January 17, play Ghana the following day and wrap up their group matches against Nigeria a day later.
Pool 'A' has South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Uganda. The top two teams will proceed to the semi-finals.
Meanwhile, forward George Mutira who was recalled for this assignment despite hanging his boots in 2018 was overlooked in the men's team due to finger injury he picked last week.
Constant Wakhura remains captain and will be assisted by Evan Ludiali.
Men's assistant coach Michael Malungu acknowledged that they are in tough pool but insists they will go flat out for a better performance.
"South Africa and Namibia are both technical sides and we have figured out how to approach them. We will take one game at a time and hopefully the results will work in our favour," said Malungu who double up as the Western Jaguars coach and U-21 national men's coach.
Kenya are in Pool 'A' alongside Namibia and champions South Africa. They start their campaign against Namibia on January 18 before playing South Africa the following day. Pool 'B' has Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda.
At the same time, uncertainty surrounds the teams departure to Ghana. The teams are scheduled to travel this Saturday but Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) chairman Nashon Randiek on Thursday was non-committal.
"The likely date for the teams to depart to Ghana is on January 15 (Saturday). However, the board will have a session on Friday and make their decision which will be communicated. It has been a tough journey but we are optimistic that the teams will leave on time."
Samwel Silong, Solomon Murila
Constant Wakhura, Robert Masibo, Emmanuel Wiswa, Kennedy Munialo, Edson Omukamani and Maxwell Fuchaka
Allan Iningu, Ivan Ludiali, Clifford Omari, Clayson Luvanda, Richard Njuki and Brian Ogenche
Danston Barasa, Festus Onyango, Bethuel Masambo, Titus Kimutai and Francis Kariuki.
Fiona Makena and Milly Adhiambo
Lynn Mwangi, Beatrice Mbugua, Vivian Anyango, Beverly Akoth and Flavia Mutiva
Naomi Kemunto, Moureen Owiti, Maureen Okumu, Grace Okumu, Leah Omwandho, Tamunai Kipsang and Jeriah Nyanchamah
Grace Bwire, Alice Owiti, Rhoda Kuira, Chebet Eleanor and Aurelia Opondo.