“Beat us if you can,” Pipeline coach Gitau's challenge to league opponents – Capital Sports
NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 23 – Kenya Pipeline volleyball coach Paul Gitau believes that they are the team to beat as the new season of the Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) Women’s League serves off this weekend at the Nyayo Stadium indoor gymnasium.
Gitau said the national defending champions remain favourites to retain their title albeit he warned that their opponents are not that far off from them in terms of quality in the playing ranks.
“Pipeline currently are the champions, which means we have defeated every other team. As champions, we remain the team to beat but we need to focus, we need to get set and be ready for them (opponents). But, I cannot say they are good teams like us (Pipeline),” he said.
One particular opponent on the experienced gaffer’s mind is Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) who he has earmarked as one that could raise hell for other teams in the future.
“There are upcoming teams like DCI, which is a very good team. They have young players who can become very good in the next one year. But, for now, they are playing good volleyball but not as Kenya Pipeline,” Gitau said.
The Oilers serve off their league campaign against Nairobi Prisons on Saturday afternoon, in what marks a crammed schedule for the Africa Club Championships bronze medalists.
Reflecting on what lies ahead for his team, Gitau spoke of the need for depth and discipline from the players as well as the technical bench.
“This is a new season with new teams…more teams than the six we had last season. So, we have to focus and prepare well. When I talk about preparing well, I mean bulk of players who can do duty, not one leg or second leg. Perhaps, if you have only six, they will get tired along the way,” the coach said.
Gitau added: “You need enough players who can assist in the first and second leg as well as the club championships. This is what we are trying to do…to develop players who can play high-end games for Pipeline.”
As Kenyan champions, the team are expected to represent the country at this year’s Africa Club Championships, hoping to build upon their third-place finish in last year’s edition in Tunisia.
In other league matches this weekend, last year’s defending champions Kenya Prisons will square up against Vihiga as KDF face newbies Post Bank.
This year’s losing finalists, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), face KDF a day later as DCI and Kenya Pipeline settle scores at the same venue.