Italian coach Shailene Ramdoo is confident national women volleyball team, Malkia Strikers will regain their lost glory during the upcoming Zone Five All Africa Games qualifiers this weekend at the Lugogo Indoor Arena, Uganda.
The 52-year old tactician, who was seconded to Kenya by the FIVB, has been fine-tuning the 20-member squad at the Kasarani Indoor Arena since Monday and says Kenya has the best team.
“Being a blend of youthful and experienced players, this can rule Africa again.”
The Italian arrives at a time Kenya’s standards are appearing to have stagnated, with Cameroon, who are on an upward trajectory across all categories having denied Kenya either qualification tickets or titles in the recent past.
Traditionally, Kenya has faced competition from North African teams.
In 2017, Cameroon defeated Kenya 3-1 in the Women African Championship finals held at Younde, to deny the latter their ninth continental title.
“I have been here since Monday and what I can say is Kenya has a good squad which has a potential to shine again not only in Africa but also in the world. My focus now is to help the team qualify for the All African Games championship,” he told Citizen Digital.
Kenya, who are the All African Games defending champions, will line up against hosts Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Egypt with the winner of the week-long event bagging the rights to represent Zone Five region in the August championship to be held in Morocco.
The Finland-born coach, who is a certified international volleyball trainer with an FIVB Level 2 and 3-course certificate, alongside head coach Japheth Munala will name the final 12-member squad on Thursday morning before departing for Uganda on Friday.
In his three-month deal with Kenya, the Italian’s rich CV will be relied upon to help Malkia Strikers get back to Olympic Games next year in Japan after a 15-year drought.
“Immediately after Uganda we will shift our focus to the Olympics qualifiers because we want to get it right this time and return to the quadrennial championship next year,” he averred.
Malkia are penciled to face World Championships runners up Italy then Netherlands and Belgium in the qualifiers, which will be played in Italy from August 2-4.
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