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KCB will exploit underdog tag to surprise opponents

VOLLEYBALL AND HANDBALL By Rodgers Eshitemi | March 19th 2015
Kenya Prisons volleyball team
Everline Makuto(left) of Kenya Prisons spike against Eunice Maiyo(centre) and Doris Muyekho((right)Trizah Atuka(right) of KCB during the Kenya Volleyball Federation National League play offs at the Nyayo National Stadium on Saturday 26/11/11.PHOTO: BONIFACE OKENDO

The KCB women's volleyball team is leaving nothing to chance as they prepare for next week's Africa Club Championship on March 25 in Cairo, Egypt.

The bankers, who clinched the 1996 continental title, last featured in the competition in Nairobi in 2011, when they finished 12th.

KCB will travel to North Africa on Tuesday alongside 2014 Kenya Volleyball Federation League champions Kenya Pipeline and first runner-up Kenya Prisons. The Kenyan teams will be seeking to reclaim the continental title, which Prisons lost to Algerian side GSP in last year's finals in Tunisia.

Having been given a chance after KVF was awarded an extra slot by the Confederation of African Volleyball, coach Vernon Kainga said he was satisfied with his side's underdog tag.

"We've not been at the championships for the last three years, but with our impressive preparations and a fully fit squad, we are ready to face any team," Kainga told Feverptich.

"Kenya has some of the best teams on the continent, so we (KCB) compete with the best. But at the moment, nobody is rating us and that is advantageous because we will play without any pressure. Most of my players are little-known. Playing as underdogs is something we are going to enjoy as the opposition expects to beat us easily."

With a mixture of experienced and young players led by captain Gladys Wairimu, Naomi Too and Valentine Jepkoech, who were on the Kenya Under-23 team that featured in the 2013 World Championships in Mexico, Kainga is confident of upsetting big teams in Cairo.

"The players have gelled very nicely and our target is to win the cup. Most of the players have represented the national junior teams and I am confident we'll prove critics wrong," added Kainga.

His sentiments were echoed by the team captain.

"Having trained together for over two months, I believe the underdog tag will work for us. I am optimistic the trophy will come back to the country," said Wairimu.

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