NAIROBI, Kenya, May 17 – The arrival of Italian coach Shaileen Ramdoo has flooded with it some positive vibes around the Malkia Strikers camp as the team readies for an important part of the season that culminates in the qualification process for next year’s Olympic Games in Japan.
Ramdoo was seconded to the Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) by the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) to help the national women’s volleyball team prepare for the Olympic Qualifiers that are scheduled for later on in the year.
Malkia Strikers head coach Japheth Munala has lauded the arrival of the Italian coach who he says has really transformed how the team trains and is confident his stay in the country over the next three months will be of massive benefit to the team.
“He has brought a very good impact into the team and has been training the girls on very small things that we didn’t use to have before. At least we are getting some new ideas of modern volleyball and we are happy to have him,” Munala stated.
“Hopefully in the near future Kenya will have a new system of play and we can match up with the rest of the world in terms of high standards,” added the tactician.
His sentiments were shared by assistant coach Josp Baraza who says he is really learning a lot from Ramdoo even as he trains the girls.
“His insistence is on simplicity and not putting too much energy in things that can be done easily. He is a really good coach and I know he will help the team improve,” Baraza, who also doubles up as the Kenya Prisons head coach stated.
Youngster Sharon Chepchumba has acknowledged that the soft-spoken Italian coach has indeed brought in a positive wave into the team.
“He has taught us so many useful lessons that will be of help to the team in the future. Of course we cannot implement them now because it is too early and we can confuse ourselves but in the near future, we will be a better side,” the youngster opined.
Ramdoo started training with the girls on Monday just two days after his arrival and is optimistic the team will improve under his watch.
“There hasn’t been much to assess in the first week but the good thing that is now I know the strengths and the weaknesses of the team. We are still building up the team merging young and old players and hopefully we can create something together,” Ramdoo told Capital Sport.
He says he will take a wholesome approach to helping the team improve, saying he will tackle each department at a time while focusing on the physical, mental and tactical aspect of the game.
The Italian has brought changes in how the team trains and every time after a session, they go in for video sessions for in depth analysis of every aspect of the game.
“The most important thing now is reminding them of the basic things they have forgotten about and also working on spheres outside the court like preparing for a game mentally physically and technically,” stated the coach.
He will have a first-hand opportunity of assessing the squad further when they line up for the African Zone Five Championship in Kampala, Uganda from Sunday. This will give him a chance of seeing his players and what they can do in competition.
“It’s a different ball game in competition because then we will know who can take the heat, who can take the pressure, who is ready for the top and who needs what in terms of mental, physical or tactical training,” he stated.
After the Zone Five Championship, the team will prepare for the title defense of their All Africa Games crown in Morocco in September, but the biggest task is helping Kenya qualify for the first Olympics since 2004.
“There is a chance to qualify but what we should work on is looking at improving our game and work with the coaches and the players to get to some good level of automation where we can be able to play volleyball in the modern way,” Ramdoo stated.
He added; “Volleyball has changed a lot and there are always chances when there are changes but whether or not we do well as a team depends on how much we adapt to new volleyball ways. If we adapt quickly, no problem if we don’t we will struggle. I want to be number one or nobody, this is my attitude, there’s no number two three four.”