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Malkia dock in Hamamatsu ready for serve off

Malkia Strikers players arrive at the competition city of Hamamatsu ahead of the FIVB World Championships

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 27 – After a six-day training camp in Kurobe, national women’s volleyball team Malkia Strikers arrived in the Japanese City of Hamamatsu on Thursday morning ahead of the FIVB World Championship serve off on Saturday.

The team had been training in Kurobe, a six-hour drive from their competition city Hamamatsu since their arrival in Japan on Friday.

Head coach Japheth Munala says the team has had a brilliant work-out and tactical period in Kurobe where they have been in training with assistance from Japanese coaches as they build up for their first match against Kazakhstan on Saturday evening.

“We have had a very good training program here and I feel we should have come early. We have made so much gains from the training we have received and the warm-up games we have played. The coaches here have also given us some invaluable help,” Munala told Capital Sport.

Though the team lost all their training matches, Munala believes the lessons they have picked will come in handy when they take on some of the world’s best and has called on his players to now put in the hard yards of work when the championship serves off.

Malkia Strikers head coach Japheth Munala during a previous training session. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

“The friendly matches have given us a learning situation especially about speed and we have also had the chance to rectify our mistakes before the championship. That is the most important thing,” further noted the coach.

The team had a training session in Hamamatsu shortly after arrival and the tactician is pleased with the spirit of the players and their anticipation to do better at the world stage.

The target for the team remains getting to at least the second round and this will mean they have to win at least two of their group matches. They will be in Pool D alongside 2014 bronze medalists Brazil, Serbia, Kazakhstan, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Munala named a squad blend with upcoming and experienced players and before departure, he admitted this was the strongest squad Kenya has had in a while.

Among the players who will be in line to make debuts include Lorine Chebet, Sharon Chepchumba, Christine Siwa, Leonida Kasaya and Emmaculate Chemtai.

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