BEAMING WITH CONFIDENCE

Malkia's young squad can conquer Africa for years, says Luseneka

Malkia are the record African champions, having bagged gold nine times but are yet to taste victory since 2015.

In Summary

•Luseneka, of Kenya Prisons, tipped the juniors to once again put up a brave show when Malkia settle scores with Tunisia on Wednesday.

• "The players are already feeling at home. With these faultless displays, the future looks bright for the national team," sais Luseneka.

Joy Luseneka in action during a training session at the Moi Indoor Arena, Kasarani.
volleyball Joy Luseneka in action during a training session at the Moi Indoor Arena, Kasarani.
Image: ERICK BARASA

Malkia Strikers have the quality to extend dominance on the continental front if the performance by some of the team's youngest players against the Democratic Republic of Congo at the African Nations Championship is anything to go by, setter Joy Luseneka has said.

Luseneka, who captained the team on Monday in the absence of injured skipper Mercy Moim, was impressed by the ruthless nature of the Paul Bitok's new-look team in their 3-0 demolition of the Central Africans.

Luseneka, of Kenya Prisons, tipped the juniors to once again put up a brave show when Malkia settle scores with Tunisia on Wednesday.

"The juniors were outstanding in every aspect and the team played like a well-oiled machine. It was the first time for some of them to play at the grandest stage and they displayed maturity. We would love to beat Tunisia in order to enhance their confidence," Luseneka, 30, said.

"The players are already feeling at home. With these faultless displays, the future looks bright for the national team. I think this team will be a force to reckon with by next year and can go on to conquer Africa in the next decade."

Malkia are the record African champions, having bagged gold nine times but are yet to taste victory since 2015. Old adversaries Cameroon have won the past two editions of the championships (2017 and 2019). Malkia Strikers, however, pipped them to the Olympics slot in January 2020 in their backyard during the qualifiers.

Kenya lost to Cameroon in their opening match on Sunday but Luseneka expects to renew their rivalry again in the final. 

 "We learnt from our mistakes from the loss and we are eager to make amends. They (Cameroon) must be prepared but we will have to go all the way to witness a repeat of the 2019 final."

Luseneka was happy for fast-rising setter Esther Mutinda, who finally made the squad after several failed attempts. Mutinda, who replaced veteran Jane Wacu, is a quality addition with stardom status awaiting her, according to Luseneka.

"I am glad she finally agreed to join the national team. She has a bright future and these kind of competitions will boost her confidence," she concluded.