The national men’s volleyball team Wafalme Stars coach Gideon Tarus is optimistic his charges will stage a great showing at the 2023 African Nations Championships that serve off on Sunday in Cairo, Egypt.
The team which has landed in the ‘Group of Death’ after being pooled alongside Cameroon, Libya, and Ghana is seeking to replicate its sterling performance during the 2021 tournament in Rwanda where they stunned powerhouse Egypt in a memorable victory despite finishing ninth overally.
“We have had good preparations and the boys have shown they are ready in the last three weeks. We want to have a good start in the tournament, that is why he have organised for a friendly match with Morocco just to gauge ourselves and to help the players acclimatise to the indoor arena before the opening match,” Tarus was quoted.
“I have talked to my boys and told them we need to stay focused and avoid getting carried away. We don’t want to make the mistakes of the last edition when we struggled to beat Egypt then lost a crucial match against Morocco which denied us a place in the quarter-final.” he added
A 14-man squad comprises of Japan-based captain Enock Mogeni who will be assisted by setter Brian Melly of General Service Unit (GSU) but is playing his professional volleyball in Morocco.
Other notable inclusions are setter Kelvin Kipkosgei of Kenya Prisons, middle blockers Simion Kipkorir from GSU and currently playing in Tunisia, Bernard Wechuli and Shadrack Misiko from Kenya Defence Force and GSU respectively
The team will be heavily relying on the experience of Kenya Prisons’ David Lung’aho, who has handled the women’s team, Malkia Strikers, before, and now serving as Tarus’ first assistant coach, while Kenya Ports Authority tactician Sammy Mulinge comes in as the second assistant coach.
Kenya is ranked 69th in the global FIVB ranking and fifth in Africa and the main focus for the team is to solidify their position as among the continent’s top volleyball teams.