NO SACRED COWS

Global show starters will be picked on merit, not names, says Bitok

Malkia, who are in Pool 'A', will begin their campaign with an octane match against the Netherlands on September 23

In Summary

•The gaffer extolled his charges for the remarkable improvement after playing three test matches in a span of four days.

• He said every player has equal chances to make the global show line-up irrespective of their accomplishments.

Kenya's Sharon Kiprono in action with Brankica Mihajlovic of Serbia.
Kenya's Sharon Kiprono in action with Brankica Mihajlovic of Serbia.
Image: /FILE

Age, experience, and past record will count for nothing in the selection of the women's national volleyball team to the World Championship slated for September in Poland and the Netherlands, coach Paul Bitok has warned.

The Mercy Moim-captained Malkia Strikers are in Brazil for a two-month High-Performance training camp. Malkia's three-week stay thus far has yielded four friendly matches with the record African champions winning and losing twice apiece. 

The gaffer extolled his charges for the remarkable improvement after playing three test matches in a span of four days.

He said every player has equal chances to make the global show line-up irrespective of their accomplishments.

"Of course, it's important to compete for positions based on performance and not whether one is a senior or junior. This is the time for every athlete to prove to us that she deserves a place on the team. Chances will be given equally and will purely be based on performance." 

A series of test matches have been lined up with the African Queens entering the most crucial stage of their preparations for the planetary assignment.

The keen-to-detail tactician noted that 20-year-old budding left attacker Veronica Adhiambo has been phenomenal during the warm-up matches.

"Adhiambo has improved drastically in all the facets of play. She's bold and her execution is inch-perfect and she is already justifying her selection. She is already an example to the young players," he noted. 

"It is a clean slate for everyone. The juniors have to keep believing in themselves for their self-confidence. They have trained well and they should be able to apply the same on the field of play. There's no shortcut for us to sail to the second round-it just calls for hard work and commitment."

Malkia, who are in Pool 'A', will begin their campaign with an octane match against the Netherlands on September 23. They entertain Belgium on September 25 before settling scores with perennial rivals Cameroon two days later.

Malkia face an insurmountable task against European champions Italy on September 29 and end the pool assignments with Puerto Rico.

Prior to heading to the Netherlands, Malkia will stop in Serbia for 10 days to play against the hosts and Colombia.

WATCH: The latest videos from the Star