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Japheth Munala is scouting for a senior player to replace injury-prone Asha Makuto.

VOLLEYBALL AND HANDBALL By By OSCAR PILIPILI | December 24th 2013

By OSCAR PILIPILI

KENYA: Kenya Pipeline head Coach Japheth Munala is scouting for a senior player to replace injury-prone Asha Makuto.

Makuto for the second time suffered a nasty knee injury that kept her off National league play-offs at African Nazarene University last November.

 Munala is now worried that the hard hitting attacker who plays in strong position may take long time to return to court.

“I’m looking for experienced player to fit in Makuto’s position because I doubt she will be back to action soon,” he said.

Munala said natural strong players are rare in Kenya and if this proves to be the case, then he will be forced to convert a centre to that position.

“Makuto may come back yes, but she may not be in position to play intensive matches due to psychological effects,” he said.

Makuto’s injury was a big blow to Pipeline team that was aiming to dislodge Kenya Prisons from the national throne.

Munala conceded that although Prisons displayed outstanding game when they met Pipeline in play-offs decider last November, the absence of Makuto greatly affected his team.

Makuto had the same ankle seriously injured during 2011 African Club Championship at Nazarene.

Munala indicated beefing up his squad was necessary for him to achieve his goals next season.

Potential recruits

The veteran coach revealed yesterday that he has identified former Lugulu High captain Faustin Siekise and Yvonne Kiitha as potential recruits to his team.

Kiitha showed great resilience during the National Secondary School Championships in Embu last August.

With Lugulu leading 14-9 in the fifth set and requiring just one point to win the title, Kiitha scored seven straight points to literally snatch the trophy from the jaws of Lugulu.

Munala was present at the match and he might have admired the talent of the girl he wants at Pipeline.

“I understand other clubs are chasing same players but it’s upon each one of them to decide where to go,” he said.

The Pipeline coach said that he was also shopping for one young setter ahead of the new season.

“For Kenyan volleyball to grow coaches must embrace the services of young players by giving them chance to play,” Munala, who used a very young team this season, said.

He stated that his greatest dream was to take Pipeline to FIVB World Club Championships.

“I’m not sure for how many years I will stay at Pipeline, but my ambition is to take the team to World Club Championship, at least once,” he promised.

To feature in the FIVB World Club Championship, Pipeline must win African title to play at global level.

Prisons have represented Africa in all previous four Championship — three in Doha Qatar and one in Zurich, Switzerland. Kenya Volleyball Federation season is expected to serve off in March.

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