• "We have talked to team managers and coaches to release players for non residential training this week but there’s been no positive response.,"— Sammy Mulinge, beach volleyball coach.
• The tactician is not troubled by the pooling and says preparations and strategy will be key in determining which sides sail to the final phase.
National beach volleyball coach Sammy Mulinge is appealing to clubs to release players in time for residential camp in preparation for the second round of Africa Olympic second round qualifiers.
Both men and women’s teams are set to commence residential training at Flamingo by Pride-Inn Hotel in Mombasa on Monday. Two teams will advance to the final round of qualifications.
“We have less than a month to prepare for the competitions and we need to start residential camp on Monday. I understand that most of these clubs are under pressure to deliver during next weekend’s league but holding them will derail the national teams’ preparations," he revealed.
“We have talked to team managers and coaches to release players for non residential training this week but there has been no positive response. Now, we have no choice but to work with whatever since time is running out," noted Mulinge.
Kenya women’s beach volleyball line-up has been drawn alongside Cape Verde, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia and hosts Nigeria in the Group C. The showpiece will be staged at Jabi Lake Beach, Abuja between March 4 and 8.
Players, who steered Kenya to the second round include Kenya-One side of Pipeline’s Gaudencia Makokha and Kenya Prison’s Brackcides Agala and second pair of KCB’s Phoscah Kasisi and Prisons' Yvonne Wavinya.
The men’s competitions will go down four days later- between March 12 and 16- in the Gambian Capital, Banjul. Kenyans are drawn alongside Mauritius, Botswana, South Sudan and 2019 All Africa Games gold medallists-cum-host Gambia.
The first Kenya team comprised experienced pairing of Prisons' Ibrahim Oduor and Kenya Ports Authority’s James Mwaniki while second side had General Service Unit duo of Cornelius Kiplagat and setter Brian Melly.
The tactician is not troubled by the pooling and says preparations and strategy will be key in determining which sides sail to the final phase. “In beach volleyball, all teams have equal chances and we have to do better than our opponents to advance and improve our continental rankings,” he added.
In the women’s competition, Kenya are ranked sixth in Africa behind Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, Egypt and Mozambique.
The men’s side place 11th on the continent with Mozambique leading the log followed by Ghana, Gambia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Mauritius, South Africa, Nigeria, Tunisia and Sudan.