Volleyballers excited about coach Bitok’s appointment

Saturday, August 10th, 2019 00:00 |
Paul Bitok shares a light moment with Malkia Strikers player Janet Wanja during the launch of the annual AMACO Volleyball Tournament. Photo/DAVID NDOLO

Stakeholders in the country’s volleyball scene have lauded Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) over the appointment of Paul Bitok as the national women’s team head coach, his first assignment being the African Games that serves off in Morocco from August 19-31.

The former Kenyan international replaces FIVB-seconded Italian coach Shailene Ramdoo whose four-month contract expired on August 1, amid disconnect from the playing unit and technical bench of the Italian role in the team.

According to KVF President Waithaka Kioni, the 48-year-old coach will be deputised by the former head coach Japheth Munala and Kenya Prisons women’s team coach Josp Barasa who takes first and second assistant coaches respectively.

Bitok’s first assignment as head coach will be to guide Malkia Strikers in Morocco where they will be seeking to defend their All Africa Games title.

However, players and officials who spoke to People Sport on condition of anonymity see the move as announced by long-serving federation boss Waithaka Kioni as mere diversionary,  in effort to delay the ever-rising career of the Kenya international.

“What took them so long with the appointment? Everyone knows what Bitok has done before, it is a case of a classical tossing a bone to someone,” said a budding player in the women’s team.

The appointment comes barely two months after the volleyball titan left Rwanda. Will Bitok has said he is willing to offer his expertise whenever asked upon, he has been reminded to keep his eyes on the ball.

“Bitok should have been named coach like five years ago. KVF officials know a tsunami is coming, therefore the move is like that of feeding someone table scraps. Kioni and company should just pack and go,” said a junior volleyball coach.

The former KCB player takes over the nine-time African champions at a time West African side Cameroon has been dominant the last two successive Women African Championships.

The former Kenya men’s team captain and who became the first Kenyan male player to play professional volleyball outside the country when he signed with Tunisia side Etiole Sportif in 1998, was at the helm of Rwandese volleyball for a decade, helping them to rise and become one of the best in Africa across all categories.

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