4 December 2018

Kenya: Deposed Champs Pipeline Set for Mass Exits

Nairobi — Head coach Japheth Munala might lead a massive exodus out of deposed Kenya Volleyball Federation Women's League champions Kenya Pipeline ahead of the new season, with KCB said to be their new desired employers.

The Bankers who finished third in the just concluded national play-offs are said to be hotly interested in Munala's services with seven other Pipeline players said to be on their way to join the side ahead of next year's CAVB Club Championship.

"I cannot confirm or deny but after two weeks I will make a decision on what next. I talked with one of the Directors at Pipeline and he has requested a meeting so we will meet and hear what he has to say. I am still undecided," the tactician said.

But he added; "I wouldn't wish to leave Pipeline at position three. As a national team coach that would be a shame for me. I want to leave the team when its high there."

The team is set to lose vice-captain Noelle Murambi, left attacker Violet Makuto, Leonida Kasaya, Truphosa Chepkemei, Veronica Tanui and Christine Njambi with Munala confirming they are already on their way out and the play-offs final against Prisons was their last appearance for Pipeline.

However, the tactician stated that the company is trying its best to see whether they can place a counter offer on the table and ensure the players remain.

If the players leave and Munala remains, he has admitted he will be faced with a tall order to rebuild the team.

"It will be a huge task for us now to rebuild the team because we have to take new younger players and mold them into international status,"

Meanwhile, looking back at their botched campaign for a fifth national title, Munala has blamed their loss to missing star player and captain Triza Atuka who missed the entire play-offs after undergoing abdominal surgery and couldn't recover in time.

"That was our major undoing because she is the best middle blocker in the country and also the best attacker in that same position. We missed her a lot and we were just gambling on who to play there throughout. The injury came at a wrong time, but we will bounce back," Munala said.

Heading into the final game of the three-day play-offs, Pipeline needed to win at least 3-1 or 3-0 to clinch the crown having lost against KCB the previous day, but they fell shot with Prisons coming off all guns blazing to win 3-1.

Munala admitted it was tough motivating the players especially after losing to KCB on Sunday.

"The loss against KCB demotivated the players ad noting that we had to fight to win by a big margin, it was always going to be tough."

"The players also lacked a bit of motivation and noting that the other teams have also been working hard, things were not easy for us. We have to go back to the drawing board and start again,"

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