NAIROBI, Kenya- National champions, General Service Unit (GSU) are plotting to execute a successful raid of the 2018 CAVB Africa Men Volleyball Championships final to be held at Al Ahly Hall in Cairo, Egypt from Sunday to April 6.
The paramilitary outfit rolled their travelling squad of 14 players headlined by the Kenya Volleyball Federation’s Most Valuable Player (MVP), Cornelius Kiplagat, Best Setter, Brian Melly, captain and right attacker, David Kirwa and Abiud Kipkirui (right attacker).
To join hands with Kiplagat in left attack are Bonfentry Wekesa, Naftali Chumba and Jacob Kirwa. Middle blockers/centre are Cornelius Lagat, Shadrack Misiko, Simon Kipkorir and Cornelius Rotich.
Setters are Melly and Nicholas Lagat while Alex Kariuki and Noah Bett are the libero.
Club’s Technical Director, Moses Epoloto, said their aim is to go beyond the bronze medal position they realized in Cotonou, Benin, in 2005.
“The best that a Kenyan club has ever done in this contest is a silver medal won by Kenya Prisons in Cairo in 2011. We want to surprise many by going beyond that this time. I believe that is possible because we have trained well.
“We covered all areas needed in our four-week residential camp at Kasarani Stadium Indoor Arena,” Epoloto underscored.
Epoloto said they are ready to test their mettle against worthy opponents including hosts Zamalek, Somuah and Egyptian Army ahead of the competition.
“Our plan is to take one game at a time, we will intensify our focus on the medals once we reach the semi-finals,” Epoloto emphasised.
Decorated Kiplagat, who has three national MVP titles (2013,2015,2017) and two Best Attacker awards (2014 and 2016) to his name, said he is optimistic that they will perform better in the tournament than they did in their last appearance in 2016.
“We did not have a good run in Cairo two years ago. We finished 16th out of 24 teams that took part. We want to write a different story this year,” Kiplagat underlined.
Kiplagat left nothing on the court to inspire his side to the national title after GSU reclaimed the crown from arch rivals Prisons last December.
“The secret is personal training. I always make sure I go an extra mile at the gym after sessions with our coaches on the field,” he stated.
Kiplagat’s volleyball star began to rise immediately he graduated from Cheptil High School in 2012.
“I linked up with Blue Triangle Club and had my first stint in the league that season. We were weak as a team but I always made sure I gave my best.
“I was approached by GSU at the end of that season and we finished fifth overall in the league. The GSU deal was so enticing, I bid Blue Triangle farewell and joined the forces. It was the best decision I ever made in my life.
“I’m not only paid well at GSU but I also get opportunities to be trained by international coaches,” Kiplagat explained.
GSU Team Officials to Cairo
1.Andrew Changuony-Chief De Mission
2.Moses Epoloto-Technical Director
3.Gideon Tarus-Head Coach
4.Dunson Tali-Assistant Coach
6.Nicholas Kimeli-Team Manager
7.Alfred Tabut-International Referee.