NAIROBI, Kenya, May 16 – Malkia Strikers head coach Japheth Munala has stuck with his experienced charges as he named his traveling team to Uganda for the Africa Zone V Championship which will also be used as a qualifier for the All Africa Games set for September in Morocco.
With only one winner from the Zonal qualifiers progressing to the games, Munala said there is no room for error and explained that is the basic reason he chose to go with trusted hands as Kenya looks to go back and defend her crown.
“Training has been short because we have trained for only 10 days. We are relying on experienced players because there is no time to gamble with young players now. Probably until after Uganda is when we can start putting in the young players,” Munala told Capital Sport after the team’s training session on Thursday afternoon.
Among the players who have made it into the traveling list of 12 including youngsters Lorine Chebet and Sharon Chepchumba who were impressive in their debuts at the World Championships in Japan last year.
The two have also been regular starters at their club and have shown they can compete with the experienced lot.
“I think it has been a good period over training and I have managed to gel in well with the team. Hopefully I can continue in the same form I have had over the last few months and continue being a mainstay in the team,” Chepchumba stated.
Long serving setters Jane Wacu and Janet Wanja will continue in their roles heading to Uganda while the ever-present Mercy Moim has been tasked once again with skippering the side as they hunt for glory.
Munala believes it will be tough especially now that there is only one slot to proceed to the All Africa Games but remains confident his charges will ensure victory.
“The players are in good physical shape and we are ready for the task ahead of us. It will be tough especially with Egypt and Rwanda but also the hosts Uganda who have been improving very much over the last few years. It will not be easy,” Munala stated.
The team has been boosted in their last week of training with Italian coach Shaileen Ramdoo helping the technical bench in training the girls.
Malkia Strikers squad to Uganda:
Setters: Jane Wacu and Janet Wanja
Left attackers: Mercy Moim (captain), Leonida Kasaya, Sharon Chepchumba, Noel Murambi
Middle blockers: Lorine Chebet, Edith Wisah, Trizah Atuka
Right attackers: Violet Makuto, Emmaculate Chemtai
Libero: Agripinah Kundu