National women's volleyball team utility player Leonida Kasaya has embraced 'the secret card' tag.
Kasaya can play either as left, right or centre player. But as a left attacker, she has continued playing second fiddle to team captain Mercy Moim and Noel Murambi.
Speaking on Sunday after her individual training session at Tassia grounds in Embakasi, Nairobi County, Kasaya said the ‘secret card’ tag has helped her make all the difference in the team whenever she replaces either Moim or Murambi in matches.
"I have always come off the bench to rest the two players and on many occasions, I have always risen to the occasion. It doesn't bother me that I'm a substitute. But that does not mean I can't be among the starters. I believe the tactic works for the coaches . At the end of the day, if tactic works then why not embrace it?" said the KCB Volleyball Ladies Team player.
"The department is very competitive, making it more interesting. I always go out of my way to do extra exercises over and above what we are given at the club and at the national team. And the effort has paid off, "
The 24-year-old alumnus of Malava Girls High School has revealed that she was approached by Egyptian club El Shams over a possible transfer during last year's African Club Championship held in Egypt, but the deal fell through.
"I would one day love to turn professional. I always get remarkable comments from coaches across the World, which is a good thing. But I believe when the time is right, I will make that bold move," Kasaya told Nation Sport.
Kasaya said KCB was ready to make amends in the Kenya Volleyball Federation play- offs this year after failing to capture the title last season with a rich squad at their disposal.
"We never saw it coming. We had a good squad but failed to win the title. We had not gelled well and our blocks were wanting. We hope normalcy will return so that we make our intentions known," Kasaya, who made her debut in the national team in 2017, said. KCB finished second behind winners Kenya Prisons and third-placed Kenya Pipeline.
Ahead of 2020 Olympic Games that have been rescheduled to next year in Japan, Kasaya has said they qualified for the Games by merit, and they will be out to make their presence known.
Kenya defeated Nigeria, Botswana, Egypt and hosts Cameroon for the sole ticket reserved for Africa in the qualifiers early this year.
"I'm excited at the prospect of competing at the Olympics. It's every player's wish to be at the Olympics . I know with proper preparation we can win one or two matches but it will have to start with us the players. It's all in the mind,” said Kasaya, who had previously played for Nairobi Water and Kenya Pipeline before joining the bankers last year.
She is among six players who joined KCB last year from Kenya Pipeline alongside coach Japheth Munala.
The others are Murambi, Violet Makuto, Jemima Siangu, Truphosa Samoei and Christine Njambi.