Kenya Volleyball Federation’s technical director David Lung’aho has backed the men’s national team to at least make it to the quarter-finals at the Africa Nations Championship in Egypt.
The veteran coach was reacting to the draw of lots the 14-nation tournament conducted in Cairo in the presence of African Volleyball Confederation President Amr Elwani Saturday evening.
Kenya has been pooled against pre-tournament favourites Tunisia, Libya and Ghana in Group ‘C’.
Two teams from each of the four pools in this eight-day competition will not only progress to the last eight, but also remain on course to clinching either of the three slots available to participate in the World Championship next year, considering this competition doubles up as the World Championship qualifiers.
“I believe we can beat Libya and Ghana,” said Lung’aho, whose boasts five continental titles with the national women team.
“We have assembled a young team and prepared them well. From my assessment, we will need some luck, but it’s possible to get one of the slots for the World Championship.”
Kenya qualified for this continental championship after winning the four-team Zone Five Championship consisting hosts Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi in Kigali earlier this year.
Unlike their women counterparts, who have won the continental title an unprecedented nine times and also booked a World Championship slot in Cameroon last week, the men’s team has consistently struggled on the continent front, especially when up against North African opposition.
This tournament thus, provides an opportunity for veteran coach Moses Epoloto who is barely a year at the helm, to break some ground.
Defending champions and organisers Egypt were drawn in Pool ‘A’ along with Niger and DR Congo, while Cameroon will battle it out in Pool ‘C’ against Morocco and Nigeria. Algeria line up against Botswana, Chad and Rwanda, who are managed by Kenyan coach Paul Bitok, in Pool ‘D’.
Pool A: Egypt- Niger- Congo RD
Pool B: Tunisia- Ghana- Kenya- Libya
Pool C: Cameroon- Morocco- Nigeria
Pool D: Algeria- Botswana- Rwanda- Chad