Bitok: No, I didn’t kick out Wanja from Malkia Strikers squad
National women volleyball team head coach Paul Bitok has refuted reports that he shoved out veteran setter Janet Wanja from Malkia Strikers.
Early this week, Bitok took to Facebook to announce that the experienced setter had been dropped from the squad due to personal commitments.
At the time it was believed that the Kenya Pipeline setter might have been a victim of a greater power play involving national team players, the technical bench and officials.
However, Bitok now says Wanja is the one who asked to be left out of the team due to pressing family matters.
“Wanja gave us her reasons as to why she wouldn’t be able to make the team saying she is dealing with family issues at the moment. It was her decision to opt out of the team,” Bitok said.
“I did not kick her out of the team, it would have been a nice thing to have her on the squad as we prepare for this crucial competition,” he further explained.
Bitok went on to state that he has a very healthy relationship with Wanja and it’s for this reason why he recommended to the federation to have her join the technical bench after the 2020 Olympic Games.
“Wanja is a player I hold so much respect for. She started playing for the national team in 2004 and has vast experience. It’s for this reason that I recommended to the federation to rope her into the coaching unit after the Olympics so that she can help guide the young upcoming players,” Bitok said.
Malkia Strikers are currently in camp preparing to compete in the 2020 Olympic Games qualifiers in Cameroon starting January 3, 2020.
Kenya will be up against hosts Cameroon, Egypt, Tunisia and Senegal and Cameroon for a single qualification berth at the Tokyo games later next year.