The National Women’s Volleyball team head coach Japheth Munala is brimming with confidence ahead of the Africa Zone Five All African Games Qualifiers set to serve off this Sunday at the Lugogo Indoor Arena, Uganda.
The Malkia Strikers tactician on Thursday, alongside Italian coach Shailene Ramdoo who was seconded to Kenya by FIVB, named a strong 12-woman squad that departs on Saturday morning for the week-long event and he expects nothing less than bagging the sole ticket to represent the region in the August championship set for Morocco.
“We are leaving nothing to chance because it is only one team which will proceed to Morocco so we have to win all our matches. I have a strong squad with most experienced players whom I believe will help us shine,” he told Citizen Digital.
Kenya, who are the All African Games defending champions, will line up against hosts Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Sudan, South Sudan and Egypt in the round-robin competition which concludes on Friday May 24. Malkia Strikers defeated Cameroon by 3-1 sets to clinch their fourth All African Games title held in Congo Brazzaville in 2015.
Munala, who also doubles up as the KCB coach, however was not convinced on the timeline the squad was allocated to train at the Kasarani Indoor Arena while also questioning why the team travels to Uganda just hours before the serve off.
“We joined the camp just week and we were not able to fine-tune our skills to perfection owing to lack of time because men’s team is also training at the same facility, he said, adding; By today (Friday) we didn’t know how and when we will leave for Uganda and such things always have negative impact to the team and I hope in future proper planning is done,” he lamented.
Immediately after the competition, Malkia Strikers will shift focus to getting back to Olympics Games set for Tokyo, Japan next year after a 15-year drought. The team last played in the Olympics in 2004 finishing at 11th position, similar to the previous and first outing in 2000.
Kenya is penciled to face off World Championships runners up Italy then Netherlands and Belgium in the Olympic qualifiers, which will be played in Italy from August 2-4.
Setters: Jane Wacu, Janet Wanja
Right Attackers: Violet Makuto, Emaculate Chemtai
Left Attackers: Mercy Moim, Noel Murambi, Leonida Kasaya, Sharon Chepchumba
Middle Blockers: Triza Atuka, Lorine Chebet, Edith Wisa
Libero: Aggripina Kundu
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