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Pipeline: Gitau’s Midas touch or just a mere preseason scare?

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Kenya Pipeline women volleyball team is out to rediscover their characteristic cutting edge once the new volleyball season serves off despite the COVID-19 threat.

Kenya Pipeline players during a training session. PHOTO/ELVIS OJIAMBO/TV47

The team which lost to rivals KCB and Kenya Prisons in three straight sets to finish third at the 2019 Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) playoffs seeks an upturn in fortunes.

“Last year this team finished third in the national league. Let us forget that now, let us struggle to be first or second. Next year, when the club championship resumes, I want to work and finish first or second,” head coach Paul Gitau said.

Head coach Paul Gitau in an interview with TV47 Sports Desk. PHOTO/ELVIS OJIAMBO/TV47

Gitau, who is close to marking a year at the helm of the oil queens, is leaving nothing to chance, intensifying the club’s training while clinging on a gleam of hope that contact sports will soon be given greenlight by the government.

The head coach has made changes to the club’s leadership stripping off the captaincy from the evergreen middle blocker Triza Atuka and her assistant Naomi Too who are both on medical beds and instead tasked seasoned setter Rose Magoi with the armband and fast-rising middle blocker Gladys Ekaru as her deputy.

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Outgoing Pipeline captain Triza Atuka is nursing a long-term injury that has seen her lose the armband. PHOTO/COURTESY

“My aim is to have leaders who are close to the team. I have not made changes for any other reason. I have made changes because the main captain is nursing a long-term injury. She (Triza Atuka) has been out for a year and maybe she will be back next year. So the team cannot stay that long without a captain,” Gitau revealed.

Pipeline head coach Paul Gitau (in red) with TV47’s Julius Jumah watching through the team’s training session. PHOTO/ELVIS OJIAMBO/TV47

Newly appointed skipper Rose Magoi lauds the reception by her teammates, stating that she is ready for the task ahead, leading the six-time African champions to the proverbial promised land when the season serves off.

“We wish her (Triza Atuka) and Naomi (Too) a speedy recovery. The team has given me a good reception as their new captain and I am very thankful. We are trying to get back to where we were. And the players have admitted they will do so. I am therefore confident we will get back to where we were,” said Magoi.

Pipeline new captain Rose Magoi who is deputized by fast-rising middle blocker Gladys Ekaru. PHOTO/ELVIS OJIAMBO/TV47

Key to their ambitions is player welfare, African club championship bronze medalists shielding its playing talent from the coronavirus scourge.

“Even the months that we have not been playing, these players have been paid. Medical insurance, they are still being treated by the company,” revealed the former Malkia strikers tactician.

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