NAIROBI– Kenyan teams Pipeline and Prisons wound up their training, hoping their preparation was enough to help them win the volleyball Africa Club Championships, which starts in Cairo on Monday.
The two sides are due to jet out on Saturday for Cairo with Kenya Prisons coach David Lung’aho buoyant he will break the duck in the Egyptian capital and secure the team its first title in five years. Kenya Prisons last won the title in 2013.
“It has been four agonizing years since we last won the title. Other teams have improved and done well, but it is down to our own preparations and how we have strengthened the team. Competition is good and we always expect tough challenge each year,” said Lung’aho in Nairobi on Friday.
On the other side, Kenya Pipeline head coach Japheth Munala said he will not give up his quest for the title without a fight and warned there will be no love lost should his side end up clashing with Kenya Prisons in the finals.
“I know there will be other teams, especially from North Africa, but we have done our homework and believe we will get to the finals. Whoever we meet there will mean nothing to us as long as they stand in our path to the title we will crush them,” he warned.
Kenya Prisons will be hopeful they will win the title to secure qualification to the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championships, which will be held in Zhejiang Province of China for the next two editions in 2018 and 2019.
China will follow Brazil (1991, 1994), Italy (1992), Qatar (2010, 2011, 2012), Switzerland (2013, 2014, 2015), the Philippines (2016) and Japan (2017) as host country of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship.
The current format of the tournament involves eight teams competing for the title at venues within the host nation over a period of one week.
Winners of continental championships from Asia, Africa, South America, Europe along with the host city’s team and a nominated team from North America will be making the finals in China.
The number of teams is increased through wild card invitees. The current champions are Turkey’s Vakifbank Istanbul, who defeated Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro 3-0 in the final of the 2017 edition, to win their second title in the competition.
The annual Africa Club Championship has attracted a record 22 teams. “It has been very hard for the girls for the last one month but they put in great effort so we believe in them. It will be good if Kenyan teams meet in the finals,” said Lung’aho.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK