In-form Kamara dropped as Tarus names team for Africa Nations Championship

Peter Kamara

Kenya Port Authority opposite Peter Kamara (right) powers an attack during their Kenya Volleyball Federation National League match against General Service Unit at Nyayo Stadium Indoor Gymnasium on June 24, 2022.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Team head coach Gideon Tarus said Kamara didn't match his competitors Enock Mogeni and Abiud Chirchir in backcourt defence and blocking departments.

In-form opposite hitter Peter Kamara was the surprise exclusion from 14-man Kenya men's volleyball team squad for the upcoming African Nations Championship in Cairo, Egypt.

Kamara, who plays for Kenya Ports Authority in the National League, has been outstanding for his club and was part of the team that beat Egypt 3-2 in the group stage in the last edition that was held in Rwanda.

Team head coach Gideon Tarus said Kamara didn't match his competitors Enock Mogeni and Abiud Chirchir in backcourt defence and blocking departments.

"Anyone can attack but we need that extra factor and Mogeni and Chirchir were above Kamara in those departments. Again, the two have experience and exposure having played in France and Japan and that is a plus," said Tarus after naming his squad on Saturday at the Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium, Nairobi.

Mogeni, who has retained the captaincy, will be assisted by General Service Unit setter Brian Melly.

Mogeni has been plying his trade at Japanese side Oita Moyishi, while Chirchir is attached to Grand Nancy in France.

Promising outside hitter Denis Esokon from Kenya Prisons was also overlooked with Tarus saying they were guided by players ability to receive well and backcourt defence.

Dennis Omolo, Aggrey Kibungei, Cornelius Kiplagat and Joshua Kimaru will do duty for the country in the outside hitting department.

Libero James Mutero, a natural left attacker who made the final cut after failing on three occasions, said he is feeling at home.

Mutero said that he doesn't feel the pressure to fill the gap left by former libero Noah Bett who has since retired.

"I'm up to the task and I'm ready to work with Sam Juma. I have always earned a call to the team but failed to make the final cut and I believe this is my breakthrough. I can feel it and my body is responding well. We have a good squad who are ready to conquer," said Mutero, who is the captain at Trailblazers.

Brian Kamonde, who is making his maiden appearance in the team, is excited at the prospect of playing in the Nations Cup.

"I'm seizing the opportunity and I'm happy with the way things are turning out," Kamonde, who plays for KPA in the local league, said.

Kenya finished ninth in the biennial event that had attracted 16 nations two years ago.

Tunisia won the event.

The championship is set for September 1-14 and the team is expected to travel to the North African country next Friday.

Final squad

Left: Denis Omolo, Aggrey Kibungei,Cornelius Kiplagat and Joshua Kimaru

Opposite: Abiud Chirchir, Enock Mogeni

Libero: Sam Juma, James Mutero

Middle blockers: Brian Kamonde, Simon Kipkorir, Shadrack Misiko and Bernard Wechuli

Setters: Brian Melly and Kelvin Kipkosgei

Head coach: Gideon Tarus

Assistant coaches: David Lung'aho and Sammy Mulinge

Trainer: Elisha Aliwa

Statistician: Sammy Kirongo

 Team manager: Alfred Chedotum