NAIROBI, April 13- The Kenya Prisons trio of Mercy Moim, Brackcedes Agala and Jane Wacu are yet to be cleared by the world volleyball governing body FIVB and the Confederation of African Volleyball to feature in the forthcoming African Women Club Championship in Tunisia.
The three players have completed their season with their respective European sides where Moim turns out for Finnish club Orpo while Wacu and Agala are attached to French top side Chamalieres.
Moim and Agala have already started training with Prisons at the Kasarani gymnasium while Wacu is expected to link up with the rest of the squad before the end of the week.
Speaking to Capital Sport, head coach David Lung’aho says they are waiting communication from FIVB before drafting the three into their final team.
“We have already placed a request with FIVB since the three have finished their contracts in Europe and we are waiting to see whether we will get a response before we travel. I am hopeful they will be cleared because their experience will be vital to our campaign. Moim and Agala who are senior players have already added a lot of impact to the team since they started training,” Lung’aho said.
However, the coach is not worried if the three players will not be allowed to compete since he has young players who have proved their worth.
“We have young girls who have shown a lot of promise and even if we won’t get the three to travel with us, I believe we will still be strong enough to compete,” Lung’aho added.
Prisons have never been the same since the three left in 2014 and have lost the national title thrice in a row to Kenya Pipeline.
The Lung’aho team was a force to reckon with not only locally but continentally having won the African title four times in a row between 2010 and 2013.
They lost the title in 2014 in the final to Algerian side GSP Alger and failed to qualify for last year’s tournament.
“We have been on a learning curve for the last two years and building up a strong side. We have gained a lot of experience and I believe we are in good shape to reclaim the title. It will not be easy though because the hosts have strong teams as well as those from Cameroon and Egypt,” Lung’aho, the reigning SOYA coach of the year stated.
Kenya will be represented in the tournament by two teams, Prisons and the record African champions Kenya Pipeline.
Pipeline has won the tournament seven times but since their last crown in 2005, they have unsuccessfully tried to get the title back despite getting to the final five times.
Head coach Japheth Munala is confident they have what it takes to chase the title and he says his girls have their sights on getting to the final.
“It is not going to be an easy tournament but our main target is to get to the final first. We have prepared well and I am pleased with the morale of my players in camp. I am very confident we will compete and represent the country well in Tunisia,” Munala said.
The teams are expected to leave the country next Tuesday for Tunisia ahead of the tournament that begins April 21.
The championship was initially set to be held in Nairobi but later moved to Tunisia as Kenya could not secure a second indoor court in time which was part of the CAVB requirement.