Bitok seeks to reunite broken Malkia squad with title defence on the line


Bitok seeks to reunite broken Malkia squad with title defence on the line
Outgoing Rwanda coach Paul Bitok instructs his charges against Kenya during their Women's Under 23 African Nations volleyball champions at Safaricom Gymnasium stadium Kasarani on October 27, 2016. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha/Citizen

In Summary

  • National women's volleyball team head coach Paul Bitok says he will tap into his unmatched experience to bring sanity in Malkia Strikers squad following divisions which led to dismissal of Italian coach Shailene Ramdoo.
  • The decorated towering Bitok was appointed last week to steady Malkia Strikers' ship taking over from FIVB seconded Ramdoo whose contract 'expired' and  left the team following a souring of relations between him and other technical bench members, as well as part of the playing unit.

National women’s volleyball team head coach Paul Bitok says he will tap into his unmatched experience to bring sanity in Malkia Strikers squad following divisions which led to dismissal of Italian coach Shailene Ramdoo.

The decorated towering Bitok was appointed last week to steady Malkia Strikers’ ship taking over from FIVB seconded Ramdoo whose contract ‘expired’ and  left the team following a souring of relations between him and other technical bench members, as well as part of the playing unit.

However the calm and collected Bitok says “everything is in control” and has asked Kenyans not to worry.

In an interview with Citizen Digital, Bitok revealed that he has been holding meetings with his charges to manage the situation before they head to Morocco to defend their All African Games title.

“Since I took over I have tried my best, to see how we can come together and some of the experienced players are helping me to encourage the young ones to be part of the team,” Bitok told Citizen Digital.

As part of the measures Bitok has put into place as bonding sessions to make the girls gel on and off the pitch.

Rightly so he understands the importance of unity of purpose, team work and cohesion.

“Before the departure we’ve had lunch together, went for swimming, we even played other games together like handball and netball not only volleyball, now when we land in Morocco we will go for sightseeing together before the tournament,” he added.

According to Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) President Waithaka Kioni, the entire playing unit complained about Ramdoo’s high-handedness and the volleyball boss maintains they’d seen enough of the Italian and wanted him out after the Inter-Continental Olympic qualification tournament that ended last week in Catania, Italy.

“We are not divided, the team is a unit, Ramdoo’s contract had expired and he was not in good terms with the players and the coaching staff, and after a meeting with them I had to take that action which is the best for the team,” said Kioni.

As the Malkia strikers head to Morocco the team is set to renew its rivalry with African champions Cameroon after being pooled together in Group B. Algeria and Senegal complete the teams in the s pool deemed as group of death.

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Story By Philip Muchiri
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