Kenya names a strong squad for Cup of Nations

13 June 2015

Nairobi, Kenya, June 10, 2015- Kenya named an experienced side, ready to defend the Africa Nations Championship cup which serves off Friday, June 12th at the Safaricom Indoor Arena in Nairobi, Kenya.

 

The squad, unveiled by head coach, David Lung'aho will be anchored on Captain Praxcides Agala, Janet Wanja and Mercy Moim's combined 30 years experiences with the national team.

 

Assistant Captain, Wanja who made her national team debut in 2004 will be earning her fifth Africa Nation Championship Cup in a Kenyan jersey, same as Moim while Agala, who plays for Club Chamiliers in France will be making her fourth appearance in this Cup which Kenyan has won a record eight times.

 

The fact that hosts Kenya will be facing a Tunisian side that denied them a world championship slot last year and Cameroon, 2013 Cup of Nations Silver medalist, don't bother Wanja, twice Africa setter of the year who is upbeat her side will successfully defend the trophy they won in 2013 at the same venue.

 

"We don't just want to play, but play an entertaining game that will keep fans at the edge of the seats" said Wanja, 31."

 

"Am a bit anxious because we lost to Tunisia in the World Championship (qualifiers) but the fact that we now we don't depend on the government having secured sponsorship with National Oil Corporation last year, everyone is psyched up for the tournament, "added Wanja, a former Al Shams (United Arab Emirates) player.

 

Left attacker, Moim who turns up for Kenya Prisons in the domestic league will also earn her 5th Nations Cup in her 10 years of active play with the Queens who struck annual Ksh. 14m sponsorship package with National Oil for the next three years.

 

This will make the trio the most experienced players in Kenyan side that also boasts of towering Lydia Maiyo, Jane Wacu and Evelyn Makuto. Moim played her first game for national team in 2005 while still in High School. Her first Cup of Nations was in 2007 and she has never missed the subsequent editions.

 

"It feels great to earn that extra Cup, you can't quite explain the feeling but I must admit it's never been easy." noted Moim, former Liga Poloski (Finland) player.

 

Other players are Ruth Jepng'etich who steered Kenya Pipeline to a Silver medal finish at the Africa Club Championship in Egypt, Esther Wangeci, Triza Atuka, Noel 'TEKE' Murambi, Monica Biama and Elizabeth Wanyama.

 

The colorful ceremony to unveil the Kenyan squad was attended by senior members of Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) led by President, Waithaka Kioni who challenged the players to win the championship.

 

"By vertue of being the defending champions, I believe you are still the best in Africa, able to win this championship and proceed to the world Cup." Kioni challenged the players.

 

The championship whose winner will represent Africa at the World Cup in Japan, has attracted eight teams- Cameroon, Tunisia, Senegal, Mauritius, Botswana Morocco and Algeria.

 

Mauritius and Senegal were the first team to arrive in Nairobi (Monday) before having a feel of the competition venue on Wednesday.

 

Kenya's full squad

Setters: Janet Wanja, Jane Wacu

Right attackers: Lydia Maiyo, Esther Wangeci

Left attackers: Mercy Moim, Noel Murambi, Evelyn Makuto, Monica Biama

Center blockers: Ruth Jepng'tich, Praxcides Agala, Triza Atuka

Libero: Elizabeth Wanyama

 

By Elvince Joshua, KVF Media