Kenya Pipeline rookies Esther Mutinda and Gladys Ekaru have been drafted in the national volleyball women’s provisional squad which begins training tomorrow ahead of the All African Games Zone 5 qualifiers in Uganda.
The qualifiers, set for May 18-24, will see only one team from the region make it to the Morocco event set for later this year.
Malkia Strikers are the defending champions having won the bonanza in 2015 in Congo, Brazzaville under the then coach Paul Gitau.
Mutinda and Ekaru defied odds to form part of the Pipeline team to the African Club Championships in Egypt where they finished third, having joined the former national champions earlier this year from Kwanthanze Secondary School.
Mutinda will jostle for the final two setting positions alongside the experienced regular duo of Jane Wacu and Janet Wanja as well as Joy Lusenaka.
Ekaru, on the other hand, will line up against an impressive trio of Triza Atuka, Edith Wisa and Lorine Chebet.
Kenya Volleyball Federation chairman Waithaka Kioni observed that clubs which have players in the final squad will still participate in the KVF third leg/ AMACO tournament set for May 17-19 at the Eldoret Polytechnic grounds.
He said: “Unlike in the previous editions where the majority of clubs have opted to shelve their matches because most of their players are away on national duties, this time around things will change. Besides, the unavailability of reliable players gives room to fringe players a chance to prove a thing or two.”
The 20 member squad will be under the stewardship of Japheth Munala and Josp Barasa while FIVB-seconded Italian coach, Shailen Ramdoo, will beef up the training from May 10.
Provisional squad: Edith Wisa, Emmaculate Chemtai, Joy Lusenaka, Pamela Jepkirui, Elizabeth Wanyama, Mercy Moim, Jane Wacu, Trizah Atuka, Gladys Ekaru, Esther Mutinda, Agripina Kundu, Sharon Chepchumba, Janet Wanja, Noel Murambi, Leonida Kasaya, Violet Makuto, Lorine Chebet, Jemima Siangu, Linzy Jeruto and Caroline Sirengo.