NAIROBI, Kenya- Head coach, Moses Epoloto, admitted much work needs to be done to turn the promising talent in the national men’s volleyball team, Mfalme Strikers, into a competitive force.
Mfalme were a pale shadow of the team that finished to Rwanda in the Zone V qualifiers earlier this year at the recent CAVB Nations Championship in Cairo where they were forced down the order to 10th.
Kenya could not recover from a stunning opening defeat to Ghana as they missed out on the quarterfinals from Group B of the continental showpiece.
Mfalme rallied to beat Libya, Chad and Nigeria but it was too little, too late after three loses saw them tumble out of the running for the medals and a chance to represent Africa at next year’s FIVB World Championships.
“There are many learning points for the young squad we took to Cairo and as a nation, we have strides to make,” Epoloto remarked.
“Ghana is one of the sides returning to the continental stage. Beating us twice was unacceptable,” the coach added.
The West Africans followed their opening day drubbing of Mfalme by outclassing them 3-0 again in the classification stage where they breezed through to a 22-25, 16-25 and 20-25 in a much improved display from the first encounter that ended in a 25-16, 26-24 and 25-15 straight sets loss.
Despite missing on the chance to qualify for the Worlds in Bulgaria and Italy, the coach remains optimistic the squad with an average age of 22 will prevail at future competitions.
GSU outside hitter Abiud Kipkurui, Kenya Prisons duo of Jairus Kipkosgei and Rodgers Maiyo, budding setter Brian Meli and fast rising libero Sam Juma are some of the players tipped to become household names.