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Defending Club Champions of Africa, Eastern Company Club of Egypt, touched the Kotoka International airport in the early hours of Monday in their bid to defend the trophy. The team arrived in a well motivated mood ahead of the competition.
Ahead of the competition, the team trained for the first time at the Theodosia Okoh Hockey Pitch. The team made up of 17 players and 8 officials made entry to the stadium 1300hrs GMT to get accustomed to the turf. Players who were not used to the hot temperature trained with their bare chest saying they have to put in more energy in order to play up to standard.
Club’s Forward and Egypt international Hakim Ahmed in an interview with isports360 congratulated all clubs for making it to the competition. He further noted that their focus is to come and go home with the trophy after winning two years in succession. “We respect all teams and know we will have a tough opposition in Trustees and Sharkia but our aim is to go for gold… Sharkia beat us in Egypt during our National league and we will pay them back here in Ghana”, he said.
With respect to organisation of the competition and reception in Ghana, Hakim praised the Local Organising committee. He said, ” We have been received well in Ghana and the people are very nice to us… aside the weather, we are okay with everything”, he said.
Eastern Company Club of Egypt after years of playing in the competition made a mark in 2015 when they beat record title holders El Sharkia in the final. The club have since then won two gold medals in the competiton; 2015 and 2016 with a 3rd time in mind. With Sharkia and Kenya Police all tasting defeat in previous final to Eastern Company, who can stop the defending champions this year ? The 29th edition of the Africa Cup for Club Champions comes off this weekend in Accra, Ghana.