Coach Gideon Tarus with players during a KBF League match against Equity Bank at Nyayo Stadium on Sunday, Jan 24, 2021. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

National men’s team coach Gideon Tarus has said Kenya has the potential to rule African volleyball.

The tactician entered the annals of history on Wednesday night by becoming the first local coach to have beaten Egypt in the history of volleyball in the country.

The country woke up to good news yesterday morning that Wafalme Strikers had downed the Pharaohs in the opening match of the Men’s Africa Championship that is being staged in Kigali, Rwanda.

Nobody really gave the young squad a chance against the African champions. 

Despite being bestowed with the responsibility of leading the team to the first major championship since 2017, Tarus, a General Service Unit (GSU) officer went to the game with the courage of a true solder.

His team that is made up of relatively young and little-known players was due to face Morocco last night.

“We have good players. We just need to believe in ourselves and give them (players) a chance to compete with the best,” Tarus told Standard Sports from Kigali.

Tarus who recently guided GSU to a third consecutive league title, said that he opted for youth over experience “because they are risk-takers”.

“As a sports person, sometimes you have to take risks in life. Not that I have anything personal against senior players but you can call them to to the squad and win you a title, but what about 4-5 years after that?

“They shall have retired. That’s why I picked a youthful team. I’m looking at the future.

“The young players believed in themselves. They decided to play and that’s how we beat Egypt. I believe this performance will give them the confidence that “we can” because we are the best. We have good players. Now we just need to believe in ourselves,” Tarus said.

But Tarus has challenged his players not to be carried away with the rare victory.

“We are not going to underrate any team. Everyone who came here wants the title and a ticket to the World Championship.

David Lung’aho, the team’s assistant coach said that Kenya, the 2010 African Games silver medalist could cement their position as one of the best teams in the continent with a victory in the subsequent match. 

“The feeling is great. The trust in young players is paying off. We want to win against Morocco tonight to cement our position,” added Lung’aho.

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