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KCB revamp squad ahead of National League play-offs

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Esther Mutinda welcomed by TD Paul Bitok
  • KCB look to have a strong team for the play-offs
  • Coach Japheth Munala is confident of winning the title
  • Mutinda arrives from Kenya Pipeline

Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) has completed the signing of Setter Esther Mutinda from rivals Kenya Pipeline ahead of the Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) league playoffs slated for January 2023.

The Malkia Striker’s first-choice Setter joins the Japheth Munala-coached side, having played for Pipeline for three years. She was part of the team that won Bronze at the African Club Champions in Kelibia, Tunisia.

Speaking after penning her deal at the KCB Sports Club, Ruaraka, Mutinda said: “I am so happy to join KCB. This is a top side in the continent with extremely professional and top coaches. I am bringing my wealth of experience and skill set to propel KCB to greater heights. My personal goal as we head to 2023 is to win Club Championships with this incredible team.”

Head Coach Munala said the addition is part of the team’s strategy in preparations for the 2023 African Club championships.

Outstanding player who has proved herself

“Mutinda is an outstanding player who has proved herself in the national team and her former Club. We’re so glad she’s joining us, and her addition will bring competition among the other two setters.

“We are preparing to face formidable opponents in the local league; therefore, we are not taking anything to chance. The girls played against these teams during the club championships, and we expect them to portray the same winning mentality and valiant displays,” said Munala.

His sentiments are echoed by Technical Director Paul Bitok, who also doubles up as the national team coach.

“Esther is a player I have been with for most of the year and I know her abilities. She is a very talented player and her addition to KCB will be a big boost for the team especially for an area that we needed to have competition in,” said the tactician.

KCB have been without star opposite hitter Sharon Chephcumba who moved to Greece in October, signing for top tier side Aris Hesaloniki. Chumba was integral for KCB as they clinched the Africa Club title in Tunisia earlier this year.

The 2022 league playoffs are slated for January 13th -15th, at the Makande Indoor Gymnasium, Mombasa County.

Impressed with performance in the regular season

The tactician says he has been impressed with how the team has faired in the regular season and remains confident they can battle for the title.

“Of course there have been lessons to learn and we have worked hard to rectify some of the mistakes as well as polish the strong areas. When we come back after the new year, we will look to do the final touches before we head to Mombasa,” said the coach.

Meanwhile, record national champions Kenya Pipeline have already resumed training after a short Christmas break with head coach Paul Gitau keen to see the side do well and clinch the title.

Pipeline finished the regular season top of the standings and are keen to translate that same form to the play-offs.

They have not won the league title over the last five years and Gitau is keen to ensure they end the drought and bounce back to winning ways.

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