GSU ready to ruffle feathers at Club Championships

Record volleyball National League champions General Service Unit (GSU) are targeting to reach the semi-final stage at this year’s Africa Club Championships set to serve off on April 16-28 in Tunis, Tunisia. The paramilitary side which leaves for Tunisia on Friday will be looking to improve on their ninth-place finish at the 2019 championships held in Egypt. Head coach Gideon Tarus said despite the effects of Covid-19 pandemic that slowed their preparations, his team is nevertheless ready to leave a mark at the continental stage. “We are ready for the championships. We have been there before and this time round we want to make it to the last four. Making it to the medal bracket will be a huge improvement from my team,” Tarus told Citizen Digital. GSU are currently third in the Kenya Volleyball Federation National League that kicked off in January on 15 points and with a game in hand. Tarus observed that the prolonged period without active competition occasioned by the pandemic has had a massive impact on the team’s fitness levels. “When we resumed the league in January my players were basically out of form since most of them had amassed a lot of weight but we have worked hard and at the moment I am happy with their physical conditions,” said Tarus. While Tarus is confident his team has come of age to battle it out for top honours at the tournament, he is also wary of tough competition that awaits them from the North African countries including the hosts Tunisia and Libya. “For sure North African countries are very good when it comes to basics. As we head to the championships, I am expecting strong competition from Tunisia and Libya. Initially we were better than Libya during my time as a player, but over the years they have improved investing in foreign players,” observed Tarus. Tarus has also refused to bemoan lack of indoor training facilities with the Kasarani Indoor facility currently occupied by the Olympic-bound Malkia Strikers. “It is high time we stop complaining about facilities. Yes, we know we are disadvantaged since we have not trained adequately in an indoor facility but that is not an excuse, we have to show our strength and do our best in Tunisia,” charged Tarus. GSU and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) will lead Kenya’s charge at the biannual tourney after the withdrawal of Kenya Prisons Service. At the same time Tarus said they’re also seeking to extend their dominance in the top flight league as they seek a record 15th title. “I am confident we will retain our title. Although we started the league slowly we are now returning to top form and I am certain we will keep improving as we head to playoffs,” he said. The corresponding women’s tournament kicks offs on April 19- May 1 at Kelibia with Kenya set to be represented by Kenya Prisons, Kenya Pipeline and KCB.

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