NAIROBI, April 14- Having featured in European volleyball for two years, Malkia Strikers left attacker Mercy Moim believes Kenyan players can match up their European counterparts, but that will only depend on a change in training regime as well as improvement of facilities.
“I believe we have talented players in Kenya and Africa. We have potential to be better than European teams if only we change the way we train as well as investing in facilities,” Moim declared.
“In Europe, players train for maximum two hours a session and have a good four or five hour rest period which helps their bodies recover contrary to Kenya where we only have an hour or two of rest in between sessions. There is time for gym work, ball work and it gives the players a more all rounded approach to the game,” she added.
She also disclosed that European clubs spend more time in strength and conditioning and this helps them complement their talent.
“As Kenyans we have that natural strength. If we can take it to the gym and bulk up, then we can be better noting that we also have very good squad. That is what North Africa teams are now doing and the results are visible. I am a better player now than I was when in Kenya. I believe if more players are given that chance to go out then we will improve so much.”
Moim went professional for the first time in the 2014/2015 season, turning out for top tier side Liga Ploki before switching to Oriveden Ponnistus (Orpo) in the 2015/2016 in a season and helped her club pick third place in the Finnish top tier play offs.
She has returned to the country after completing her season in Finland and has been training with the Prisons team preparing for the African Club Championships to be held in Algeria beginning April 22.
She hopes to get clearance in time from FIVB to allow her play for Prisons but even if she won’t get the chance, Moim will continue keeping her feet on the gas pedals as she focuses on the World Olympic Qualifiers set for Puerto Rico in May as well as the FIVB Grand Prix which will be held in Argentina.
“We have a chance to qualify for the Olympics because I have watched Puerto Rico online and I believe if we maintain the form we have, we can be able to compete against them. Looking at Colombia and Algeria, I believe we are better than them,” Moim opined.
Moim has also challenged her team mates to work hard and ensure they don’t drop from Group Two of the FIVB Grand Prix after earning promotion this year.
She has pegged a target of at least three wins, results that will see Kenya remain among the elite crop of Group Two teams.
Moim remains tight lipped on her future but disclosed to Capital Sport her manager is working either to renew her contract with Orpo or get a new team.