Former Japaese international to coach Kenyan volleyball team

10:03, May 26, 2010      

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Former Japanese International Hidehiro Irisawa has been named as the head coach of the Kenyan national women's volleyball team for the World Championships set for November in Japan.

Irisawa, who arrived in the country late, last year, was first given the task of helping Kenya team qualify for the Youth Olympics Games in Singapore.

He took the team to Cairo, Egypt for the qualification, but was not lucky enough as they finished third after host Egypt and Tunisia.

Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) Secretary General Evans Wasike confirmed that Irisawa will take charge of the senior team, once it is named on Sunday.

However, it will be his deputy David Lung' aho who will have the responsibility of naming the provisional squad of 25 since Irisawa, is not conversant with the players.

Another Japan coach Sadatoshi Sugawara and Nejat Santjak (Turkey) are among the foreign coaches who have handled the Kenyan team in the immediate past.

"Irisawa will take charge of the team. However he will be assisted by local coaches in the preparation of the team," said Wasike.

KVF will have a league tournament in Eldoret on Saturday and Sunday and it is then that Lung' aho, a former Kenyan international is expected to name his squad.

Ever since Japan coaches Hudoka Onishi and Sugawara brought new skills and technology of the game to the country in early 1980's, Kenya has made steady progress in the discipline, especially in the women's category.

Kenya first qualified for a major global championship in 1994 and it has since remained a formidable force in the continent.

Peru denied Kenya a place at the Atlanta Olympics in a playoff but long before the seed of success had been planted by the Japanese and Kenya has remained competitive in Africa.

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