Bitok set to name Malkia Strikers squad for Olympic qualifiers


Bitok set to name Malkia Strikers squad for Olympic qualifiers
Kenya's Malkia Strikers celebrate earning a score against Brazil at the FIVB World Cup in Japan. (PHOTO/FIVB Media)

In Summary

  • National women’s volleyball team head coach Paul Bitok says he will name Malkia Strikers provisional squad on Sunday, two months before the Olympic Games qualifiers serve off in Cameroon
  • Malkia Strikers will fight for the sole African Olympic ticket with other continent’s teams from January 6-12 and Bitok is leaving nothing to chance as Malkia eyes a return to the Olympics after 15-year drought

National women’s volleyball team head coach Paul Bitok says he will name Malkia Strikers provisional squad on Sunday, two months before the Olympic Games qualifiers serve off in Cameroon.

Malkia Strikers will fight for the sole African Olympic ticket with other continent’s teams from January 6-12 and Bitok is leaving nothing to chance as Malkia eyes a return to the Olympics after 15-year drought.

The former Kenyan international also revealed his intentions of making gradual changes in the squad, with young blood his top target as he embarks on long-term plans with the nine-time Africa champions.

“I will name my squad immediately after the volleyball league ends on Friday because I want to start early preparations ahead of the dreaded qualifiers but expect some changes ,’’ he told Citizen Digital.

Bitok added that his team will be having slight training sessions every Friday and Saturday starting next week before hitting camp proper in December 1.

“I want to start early preparations because I don’t want my players to forget what we had started since I took over in August and that’s why we will be training twice a week before launching an intensive training in early December,” he added.

Meanwhile, the decorated former Rwanda coach believes if Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) will actualize his proposal of changing the league format, Kenya will make great strides in the sport.

Mid this year Bitok proposed among other things a change of the national league format to be played on home and away basis with all the matches being played indoors.

Following the adoption of the document formulated by Bitok, the 2020/2021 season will serve off in October and conclude in May the following year, with the period between May and June specifically left for national team assignments and beach volleyball.

“I hope they will make it a reality because we all want to see a competitive league which can attract crowds and sponsors. Also, we have to follow FIVB calendar in order to avoid confusion where players are in national team duty and they are missing in their clubs because our league is running concurrently with other international championships,” he told.

The KVF national league comes to an end this weekend in Kapsabet with the battle for top-four finish expected to highlight the final and seventh leg ahead of the play-offs next month.

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