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SPORTS

Gitau vows to fix Kenya Pipeline’s 16-year leakage

WOMEN IN SPORTS By Elvince Joshua | April 12th 2021
Pipeline head coach Paul Gitau. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

He’s the longest-serving volleyball coach in the country at the moment and Kenya’s most successful tactician at the continental stage with two All Africa Games titles to his name.

Paul Gitau will jet out of the country later this week with Kenya Pipeline for Tunisia, where he will be hunting for an elusive CA??VB Africa Women’s volleyball club championship title.

The event serves off in the Tunis city of Kelibia from April 19 to May 1. The last time Kenya Pipeline stood at the top podium at the continental stage was in 2005. By then, Gitau had hit a decade in his coaching career after playing for Posta Nairobi and Posta Nyeri as a setter between 1984 and 1994.

Sixteen years have elapsed since Pipeline won this title. By then Triza Atuka, one of the most experienced players Gitau will be banking on to conquer the continental gong, was just 12-years-old. Atuka is now 28 and a mother of one.

“Let’s not talk about the past because I was not there (with the team),” Gitau, who replaced Margaret Indakhala, told Standard Sports after a training session.

Indikhala was fired over poor performance in 2019 after the oil merchants finished a distant third, their worst performance in the domestic league in over a decade.

Kenya Pipeline’s Magdaline Chemtai warming up before their match against Kenya Prison Women team at Nyayo National stadium on Friday, March 19, 2021. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Gitau is confident ahead of the championship, which has been pushed back four times since 2020, that he can bring back a little level of confidence in his employers.

“I can tell you with no iota of doubt that we are going to win the Club Championship in Tunisia,” vowed the Tsukuba University (Japan) trained coach.

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But Gitau will have to cast his net far and wide in what is expected to be a stormy fishing expedition.

He’ll be without three key players who are currently on duty with the national team, Malkia Strikers. The national team is preparing for an equally important assignment; the Olympics.

Gitau, winner of the 1999 and 2015 All Africa Games with Kenya, has already planned on how to once again conquer the continent. But without the services of libero Agrippina Kundu, Gladys Ekaru and youthful Pamela Adhiambo, it will surely be a tall order.

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