Nairobi, Kenya, May 31, 2010 - Kenya picked, on Monday, a 24-member provisional women’s team for the FIVB World Championship, which will be held in Japan from October 29-November 14.
Turkey based player Brackcides Agala is one of the stars in the Kenyan team
The Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) opted to name the team four months prior to the start of the championship so as to give the players enough time to jell and polish up on their skills.
Former Turkey-based player Praxicedes Agala will captain the team with setter Janet Wanja, who plays in Rwanda, as the only team member currently playing outside of the country.
The team will report at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani on June 15 for the residential training camp.
Kenya will be hoping to go a step further and build on a previous victory over Egypt being the only team they have beaten at this level of competition.
“This time, we have selected considerably players with required height to counter our opponents who usually have very tall players,” assistant coach David Lungáho, whose club Pipeline lifted the Africa Club Championship in Mauritius a fortnight ago, said. Lungáho will assist former Japanese international Hidehiro Irisawa, who is coach.
Kenya first qualified for a major global championship in 1994 and it has since remained a formidable force on the continent. Peru denied Kenya a place at the Atlanta Olympics in a playoff but long before the seed of success had been planted and Kenya has remained competitive in Africa.
Three more appearances at the global level at the 1998, 2002, 2006 World Championships and the 2007 World Cup failed to produce a single win, as is the case with the Olympics where the Kenyan girls have played twice in Sydney in 2000 and Athens four years later.
The closest Kenya came to winning a match in a global event has been 3-2 defeats to Peru, Costa Rica and Puerto Rico, with coaches blaming a lack of experience and equipment as the reason behind the country’s dismal show.
“David Lungaho has been able to see all the Kenyans players so he will be in good position when he calls the national team to camp,” KVF chairman Waithaka Kioni said. “It will be simple for him to polish the weak points of players as they prepare for the World Championship in Japan in November.”
The provisional Kenya women’s squad: Setters - Jane Wacu, Janet Wanja, Florence Bosire. Rights - Lydia Maiyo, Loise Tarus, Asha Makuto, Bilha Chepchirchir. Centre - Brackcides Agala, Diana Khisa, Jackline Barasa, Elisheba Jepkemboi , Joan Chelagat, Roseline Odhiambo, Ruth Chepng’etich. Lefts - Mercy Moim, Esther Muombe, Ednah Rotich, Ruth Chelagat, Monicah Boima, Evaline Makuto. Liberos - Mildred Odwako, Judith Tarus, Faith Wanja, Elizabeth Nafula.