• Low turn out at Volleyball olympic qualifiers' camp

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  • Jane Wanja is among the players called up to the national women's team for the Olympic qualifiers to be held in Algeria.Jane Wanja is among the players called up to the national women's team for the Olympic qualifiers to be held in Algeria.
Jan 04, 2012-

Only seven of the 18 players called up for national duty were at the team’s camp on Wednesday as the national women’s team began preparation for the Olympics qualifiers that will be held in Algeria later this month.

11 players from Kenya Prison with exception of Evelyn Makuto missed the first day’s training session under the newly appointed coach Gideon Chenje who took over the national duty from former head coach Paul Bitok.

The absence of the prison players could be a silent revolt against the new technical bench as their head coach, David Lung’aho was also relieved off his duty as the national team assistant coach alongside Bitok who had been in charge for barely two months.

Bitok replaced Lung’aho who was demoted to the position of assistant coach of the women’s coach in November 2011. Other players who were at the Nyayo National stadium Wednesday are Mildred Oduako, Roselyn Odhiambo, Ruth Jepngetich, Esther Wangeci, Noel Murambi both of Pipeline and Edna Rotich of Ulinzi.

According to the list of those called for the Algeria assignment, Pipeline libero player, Mildred Oduako and Prison’s Jane Wacu were recalled to the national team missing the world Cup in Japan last year where Kenya lost all her matches.

Oduako who helped her team win the 2011 Kenya volleyball Federation KVF league was left out of Bitok’s squad over poor form while setter Wacu was still serving an ‘indiscipline’ ban imposed on her by the KVF.

The team will have only three training weeks before they depart for Algeria for the one week championship which will run from January 27-February. “I will not base my selection on the history but the performance of each player at the end our training,” said Chenje, clearly aware that some of his decisions could draw criticism.

“We must work together to bring back the Kenya winning spirit,” promised Chenje who also played down fears of a silent revolt.

“We had a short notice and some players are still travelling from upcountry after the Christmas holiday. We will have all of them in camp by Thursday,” he assured.

Chenje who is assisted by Rwanda’s APR coach, Sammy Mulinge and Prison’s Coach Japheth Munala as the trainer plans to play two build up matches locally before they depart for Algeria.

“We are going to liaise with the federation to organize friendly matches outside the country but if we can’t find that chance then we’ll play two or three matches with the local boys.”

Mulinge who moved to Rwanda in 2010 and is contracted with APR until March 2012 said that the technical bench would focus on the team’s weaknesses which were exposed in Japan when they face their African oppositions Algeria, Egypt and Cameroon in the qualifiers.

“We will work on the agility, reaction and movement of the players which were areas that failed us in Japan. The volleyball standards in the country are very high compared to most countries in Africa and am very optimistic we will qualify for the Olympics,” enthused Mulinge.

Kenya last qualified for 2004 Athens Olympics.

Full squad

Mildred Oduako, Roselyn Odhiambo, Ruth Jepkeng’etich, Esrther Wangeci, Noel Morambi, Janet Wanja(Kenya Pipeline) Lydia Maiyo, Mercy Moim, Esther Muombe, Brackcides Agala, Evelyn Makuto, Jane Wacu, Florence Bosire, Judith Tarus, Loyce Tarus, Elizabeth Nafula, Diana Khisa(Kenya Prisons) and Edna Rotich (Ulinzi).



Elvince Joshua

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