Malkia Strikers captain Mercy Moim is confident of a good show at the Olympic Games in five months’ time as the team gets ready to go into residential training at the beginning of next month.
The left attacker says Malkia Strikers will not just make up the numbers this time, but will be a force to reckon with in Japan.
Malkia Strikers go into camp on March 1 but will start training on the March 3rd after they go through mandatory Covid-19 tests.
They will train for 15 days before breaking for the Africa club championship. They vet back to training in April for the last leg of preparations for the Olympic Games.
Malkia Strikers will be among the teams that will go to Kurume City in Japan for three weeks training and acclimatization ahead of the Olympic Games.
“We will go there for international friendly matches and training. We will start with the Japanese national team in Kurume. This will give us an indication of where we are and what we need to do ahead of the Olympics,’’ said Moim.
Kenya volleyball has been in Olympics hiatus since 2004. Moim says this team is quite different and will surprise a lot of teams in Japan.
“Most of the time people say we are going simply because we have won in Africa. This time we have to make a mark because preparation will be a good five months. When a team prepares well, it performs well, which requires funds.
“We have young players in the team, so there is no excuse of an old squad. The opponents don’t know these players. Someone like me, I have played for long but we have some secret weapons in the young players who are unknown.”
Moim says the Kenya Volleyball Federation has been struggling to finance the Malkia Strikers, depending on earnings from tournaments for the men’s team, the women teams and the juniors.
“NOC is coming in now to support the team, so players can relax and train hard,” said the national team captain.”
Meanwhile coach Paul Bitok said they rescheduled the training camp to enable clubs prepare for the national league.