Malkia Strikers tipped to reach second round at global event

Malkia Strikers players during a friendly match against Serbia on September 18, 2022. [Courtesy] 

Malkia Strikers have a good chance to make a mark at the World Championships that serves off tomorrow in Netherlands. 

Legendary Kenyan volleyballer Jane Wacu and Prisons volleyball head coach David Lung’aho said the team has experienced players to who can lead the rest in performing well at the world stage. 

“Malkia Strikers has what it takes to prove their worth. The team has enjoyed some of the best preparation and I believe with the blending of both experienced and young players, the team will make it to the second round of the World Championships,” said Wacu. 

“Currently, Malkia Strikers is considered to have some excellent players full of technical skills and of tremendous quality,” added the 37-year-old setter who plays professional volleyball at Anse Rorale club in Seychelles. 

She said Kenya is in a relatively favorable pool. “It is now or never for Malkia Strikers to make it to the next round of the championships. They have gained enough experience and exposure and having five fresh and talented young players, the team has improved tremendously,” said Wacu 

Wacu retired from the team after 16 years having featured for Kenya in several international assignments including the Olympic Games, World Cup, World Championships, African Cup of Nations, African Games and Africa women club championships among others. 

Lung’aho who has previously handled Malkia Strikers said the team had a good training program in Brazil for the past two months where they played competitive build-up matches and time is rife for them to perform well and make it to the second round. 

“I would like to see the young players to shine in Netherlands as we look forward to the 2024 Olympic Games qualifiers. It is the chance for the new call ups to build their capacity,” said the coach. 

He said the pooling is good for Kenya. “The first match against Netherlands will be tough same as Italy and Belgium matches but we can stand tall against Cameroon and Puerto Rico,” said Lung’aho. 

Salome Wanjala who was part of the national team at the 2002 FIVB Women’s World Championships in Germany said Malkia Strikers need to take advantage of the high level training program in Brazil and Serbia to make history at the 2022 global showpiece. 

“I wish them all the best as they represent Kenya and Africa at the World Championships. They had the best preparation and it is their turn to prosper. Am happy young players have been given an opportunity to showcase their talent,” said Wanjala who is the national women beach volleyball team coach.