Deplorable conditions killed our title dreams– Malkia coach

Malkia Strikers head coach Japheth Munala. (PHOTO/Courtesy)
Malkia Strikers head coach Japheth Munala. (PHOTO/Courtesy)

Kenya women volleyball team head coach Japheth Munala has blamed poor preparations under deplorable training conditions at the Kasarani Indoor Arena for their failure to defend the African Nations Championship title.

The Malkia Strikers on Saturday night fell 3-0 to Cameroon in the final in Yaoundé, Cameroon, leaving their supporters in shock.

The Strikers had had a perfect run in the competition winning all their group games by straight sets, only to succumb to the hosts when it mattered.

However, despite their loss to the West Africans, the Kenyan girls, by virtue of finishing second, secured a slot in next year’s FIVB World Championships which will be staged in Japan.They will join Cameroon in representing Africa.

Malkia Strikers players led by Jane Wacu(L) ponder a  move
Malkia Strikers players led by Jane Wacu(L) ponder a move.IMAGE/COURTESY

The Malkia Strikers training program was hampered by constant water and power shortages at the Kasarani Indoor Arena, before their departure to Cameroon. At one point they changed residential venue owing to these difficulties.

“I can’t solely blame the players. Cameroon was very strong. We lost. I feel it’s due to our inadequate preparations. We started training only two weeks towards the competition. We also had to train in darkness for some days.” Munala said in an online interview with Citizen Digital.

Munala however believes that the team will bounce back as they aim for better performance in Japan. “We will start training early, I bet in January, as we aim to perform better.”

At the same time, the team’s technical director David Lung’aho has called for patience as they analyze the defeat.

“It (the defeat) happens. You win and lose some. I can’t exactly point out what went wrong against Cameroon. We have to wait for the coaches report and evaluate everything,” he said, adding: “Let’s first give the technical bench sometime to absorb the defeat because it is painful for now.”

Before their loss to Cameroon, Kenya had won all its four group B matches, trouncing Senegal, Tunisia, Nigeria and Congo DR in straight sets, before overpowering African giants Egypt in the semis.

Report by John Mbati

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