Kenyan international wants more players to turn pro

Monday March 30 2020
By AGNES MAKHANDIA

Kenyan international Sila Kipruto, who is away with Al Jawa men’s volleyball club in Saudi Arabia, has challenged local clubs to release more players to turn professional.

This he says will help the men’s national team get out of their women’s counterparts shadow who have excelled over the years.

“There are many clubs out here willing to sign players, but it’s unfortunate players back home don’t get released. I hope in near future things will change because this is the only way to go if the team was excel. I believe Kenya has immense talent and what we lack is experience and exposure,” said the 27 years old.

The men’s team has regularly failed to sparkle with their last outing being the African Games Zone Five qualifiers staged at the Kasarani Indoor Arena last year.

Egypt won the sole ticket to Rabat, Morocco as Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda all fell by way side.

Kipruto and Abiud Chirchir at Club Olympic de Kelibia in Tunisia are the only men's players currently attached to foreign clubs.

Asked about his future at the Al Jawa club, Sila who can play both as a right and left attacker, said he is hopeful that his contract will be renewed, but was quick to note he will avail his services to his mother club Kenya Prisons first ahead of the play offs.

Al Jawa finished sixth last season in the Saudi Arabia Volleyball League and currently occupy fourth position from 10 matches played in the 14-team league.

“I missed last year's play offs and I hope to be part of the team this time round as we push to reclaim the trophy we last won in 2016. I believe I have gained a lot that will be helpful to the team,” said the Cheptil alumnus.

Kenya Prisons finished third behind Kenya Ports Authority and champions and nemesis General Service Unit.

Sila also took the chance and called on Kenyans to adhere to decisive government acts to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

Saudi Arabia has since recorded one death as of last Monday with 511 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with a population of 34,670,247.

Sila said Saudi’s bold, swift response to the virus saw the suspension of all international flights as well as curfew enforced from 7pm to 6am for 21 days and banned foreign worshippers from performing pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca.

“We had four matches remaining before the end of the season, but all the sports activities among other gatherings were shelved due to government directives.

If back home people can adhere to the government directives , I believe the menace will be curbed but it has to start at the individual level," said Sila.