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Malkia Strikers gather around for final touches

Malkia Strikers in action against Cameroon during the African Nations Championship in Kigali, Rwanda. [Courtesy-CAVB]

Malkia Strikers head coach Paul Bitok said the high-level technology training machines they are using have pushed the players to a different level.

“Our main focus for the past two weeks has been on reception area and I can confirm that the technical bench is impressed with the training facilities the team is using to prepare for the world championships,” said the coach.

“For the two weeks the team has been training in Brazil, the girls have proved they are ready for the global showpiece. We prepare to play several competitive build-up matches with top cream teams in Brazil,” added the tactician.

Bitok said the training facilities have allowed the technical bench to focus on a specific area.

“The players have adapted well and our main focus is on the reception, which we need to improve on before travelling to The Netherlands and Poland for the world championships,” said the coach, adding that the girls have been going through intense strength exercises, skills practices and drills.

“For a long time, this is the best preparations we are getting and this is good enough for us to rectify our mistakes that we have been facing and get used to the game early enough,” said Bitok, who is also eying the Deputy President position during the July 30 Kenya Volleyball Federation elections.

Malkia Strikers are in pool A with European champions Italy, hosts Netherlands, Belgium, Puerto Rico and Cameroon in the event that is slated for September 23 to October 15.

Bitok is working with four Brazilian coaches led by Luizomar de Moura, who have been seconded to Kenya by the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) as part of the volleyball empowerment program.

“The training has developed some strength and conditioning to the players who are determined to leave a mark at the world championship,” said the coach.

After playing several friendlies in Brazil, Bitok, who is assisted by Japheth Munalam will guide his girls to Serbia for more high profile build-up matches before heading to Poland, where Kenya will be based.

Malkia Striker’s trip in Brazil was in jeopardy after the government remained non-committal to the Sh46 million budget KVF presented to them.

Team captain Mercy Moim, in an earlier interview, said she is ready to guide the girls to the second round.

“Our focus is to beat our fellow Africans Cameroon and Puerto Rico,” she said.