GSU star Bitok rues missed opportunity

General Service Unit (GSU) volleyball player Solomon Bitok during a training session.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • At the same time, Bitok has called on the national federation to field the men's national team for international events if the team is to mature.
  • "During my playing time alongside James Ontere, Phillip Maiyo, Dennis Mokua, Benard Musumba,Sila Makiso, Stephen Mathenge ,Michael Chemos among others, we were fairly fielded compared to what is happening now. I hope that things will change," noted Bitok.

Lanky General Service Unit (GSU) volleyball player Solomon Bitok has revealed that his unsuccessful trials at Japanese club Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler in 2009 dented his promising career.

Bitok, arguably the tallest volleyball player in the country, standing at a height of 205 centimetres, has said he picked a right-shoulder injury days to the trials which later cost him a place in the Japanese club.

The right attacker has said the missed opportunity to transform his career has haunted him to date.

"It was a good avenue that could have propelled me to another level, considering my height and the fact that Japan is a powerhouse in volleyball. With the injury, I was not able to conduct trials. I was subsequently released to return home. I was young and raring to go after I joined the senior national team in 2007," said the 34-year-old.

And things have never been the same again. The player has come under scrutiny many times for failing to use his height to his advantage in matches.

"I always give my all in the matches, but apparently my best has not been good enough. But what people don't know is that I started playing for national team way back in 2003 as a student at Paul Boit Secondary School and it reaches a time when your legs can't carry you any more.

“I'm at that stage. Currently, I'm embracing coaching and I want to help the upcoming players to achieve where I failed," noted Bitok, who was last drafted in the national team in 2015 for Zonal Olympic Qualifiers but the event was later cancelled. 

Bitok, who can also play as left attacker, fractured his right leg last April while on official duty. He reckons time has come for him to retire.

"We have very good players in our team and it is high time I paved way for them. Luckily for GSU, we keep on recruiting players and even if one player is not present, the gap is not felt. 

We have won the Kenya Volleyball Federation national League from 2017 and we are not ready to let go. Going forward, we hope to make our presence felt in the African clubs championship," Bitok said.

At the same time, Bitok has called on the national federation to field the men's national team for international events if the team is to mature.

"During my playing time alongside James Ontere, Phillip Maiyo, Dennis Mokua, Benard Musumba,Sila Makiso, Stephen Mathenge ,Michael Chemos among others, we were fairly fielded compared to what is happening now. I hope that things will change," noted Bitok.

amakhandia@ke.nationmedia.com