Lifting the lid on drama, intrigue in Malkia Strikers - Beaking Kenya News

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Sunday, 11 August 2019

Lifting the lid on drama, intrigue in Malkia Strikers

Former national women's volleyball national team coach Shaileen Ramdoo (left) gestures during a training session at the Kasarani Indoor Arena on June 26, 2019. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT |
Shocking details emerge from the Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) decision to part with Shailen Ramdoo and the subsequent appointment of Paul Bitok as a replacement coach for the national women's volleyball team, Malkia Strikers.

On Thursday, KVF announced that Bitok would take over as head coach in temporary capacity after the end of the Ramdoo contract at the end of July. Ramdoo was seconded to Kenya by the world volleyball body, FIVB, in May.

"How long he (Bitok) stays with the team will depend on how he appears in (the African Match in) Morocco," KVF president Waithaka Kioni said of Bitok's provisions.

But why was the sudden change from federation to a man who only a month ago was largely praised in local volleyball because of the sharpness of his tactics and even encouraged the federation to write to FIVB seeking an extension of his stay in Kenya for one year?

The drastic change at the helm of the national team has caused concern given Ramdoo's decent performance at the African Nations Championship in Cairo last month where Kenya came second after losing 3-2 to Cameroon in the final.

In both matches against Cameroon, Ramdoo's tactics came to the fore after his raft of changes made Malkia Strikers come back from two sets down to beat Lionesses 3-2 in the pool before losing by the same difference in the final.

But according to Kioni, all play units complained about how Ramdoo carried out team affairs. They had seen enough of an Italian and wanted him out after the Inter-Continental Olympic qualifying tournament which ended last Sunday in Catania, Italy.

Kenya lost all of its 'F' group matches after descending to hosts Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium.

"The players asked to meet me on Wednesday after landing from Italy. I met with them one by one and they expressed their displeasure at how Ramdoo handled the team. "They even threatened not to travel to Morocco (for the African Olympics) if Ramdoo remained as coach," Kioni told Nation Sport on Saturday.

"I took issue with the National Executive Committee (NEC) through our WhatsApp group and a unanimous decision was made to bring down Ramdoo and appoint Bitok for now.

"I communicated the decision to Ramdoo via e-mail clearly citing an unhealthy relationship between him and the players / coaches as the reason for his dismissal," Kioni stressed.

Kioni's sentiment was echoed by captain Mercy Moim and his assistant Noel Murambi, who described Ramdoo as "rude and divisive".

"We can barely express ourselves in court because he can throw words at you and not give you a chance to correct your mistakes. If you make a few mistakes, he will replace you and this really affects us. Volleyball is a sport team so if one player

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