Kenya Volleyball Federation technical director David Lung’aho has defended the inclusion of Equity Bank’s left attacker James Mutero as a libero in the 20-member provisional squad unveiled ahead of the All Africa Games qualifiers next month.
The team, which will be under the stewardship of seasoned coach Moses Epoloto and Paul Muthinja, will strive to book the sole slot during the next month’s All Africa Games qualifiers to be held in Nairobi.
Lung’aho observed he would love to see Mutero become the most sought after libero in the near future and that is why he has included him as a libero and not in his usual position of left-attacker.
Lung’aho said: “It goes without saying that Mutero is a good attacker. However, he is also a good receiver and this makes him a good libero. He is disadvantaged when it comes to height in his role as an attacker and that is why I would prefer him as a libero.”
Mutero will jostle for a libero position with regular duos of Sam Juma (Kenya Ports Authority) and Noah Bett (General Service Unit). At the same time, the technical bench has named six debutants in the team that will participate in the June 5-10 championship.
The newcomers in the team include GSU’s left attacker Nicholas Kipchirchir; Sammy Ngeny, Enock Mogeni (KPA); Nick Kimutai, Linus Sang (AP) and Kevin Omuse (Equity).
Commenting on the squad, Lung’aho said: “It’s a good squad considering the majority of the players were in last year’s World Championship Qualifier and therefore they know a thing or two. Besides, we are in the business of transitioning and that’s why we are giving chance to upcoming players to create a niche for themselves.”
Provisional Squad: Left attackers: Sila Kipruto (Prisons),Jairus Kipkosgei (Prisons), Bonfentry Mukekhe (GSU),Nicholas Kipchirchir (GSU) and Cornelius Kiplagat (GSU); Centres: Simon Kipkorir (GSU), Rogers Kipkirui (Prisons), Sammy Ngeny (KPA), Linus Sang (APK) and Cornelius Rotich (GSU); Right attackers: Abiud Kipkirui (GSU), Michael Chemos (Prisons),Kelvin Omuse (Equity) and Enock Mogeni (KPA); Setters :Kelvin Kiokosgei (Prisons),Brian Melly (GSU) and Nick Kimutai (AP); Liberos: Sam Juma (KPA), Noah Bett (GSU) and James Mutero (Equity)