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14 September 2013
Nairobi, Kenya, September 13, 2013- Coaches of teams participating in Women's African Nations Championship expect a strong competition in Kenya as the top continental powerhouses fight for the medal in the top continental women event. While big contenders Tunisia, Egypt and Algeria entered the competition with new look teams featuring a majority of young players, Host Kenya depend on the veteran players who have a long experience with international championships, but all the coaches have their own objectives in the competition.
Here is a brief of the coaches' statements during the press conference following the technical meeting held in Sports view Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya ahead of the competition opening on Saturday.
Algeria coach Aimad Eddine Saidan: "We are optimistic to repeat the golden generation of the previous team who won the gold in the African Nations Championship and All Africa games. We had here a lot of young players who are able to fight for the medals here. We had a training camp August 26 to September 5 in Tikjda, which is a touristic area 120 KM from the Capital Alger in Bouira Province because it is around 1480 m above the sea level, being similar climate conditions as in Nairobi which is almost 1800 m above sea level. This team participated in this year's FIVB World Grand Prix where they played 12 matches I had to incorporate 8 new players from the youth and junior teams making a dramatic change in the golden team. Although our results were very bad in the World League, it was a chance for the new players to gain experience at the highest world level.
Cameroon coach Eone Nane: "We are coming here to compete with the top teams in Africa. We started preparation since 3 months and in a local camp followed by the participation in the 2014 World Championship qualification in Gabon where we won the gold medal of sub zonal pool F. We changed the team a lot but this generation has good future in African volleyball."
Egypt coach Hesham Badrawy: "I had a big change in my team line up for this competition. I selected 4 players from the youth U18 team and 5 from the Junior U20. Our objective here is to regain the gold medal after 10 years when we got the gold in the same place in Kasarani. Now we had good players in all positions who had the international experience through the participation in age category world championships and can serve the national team for a long time."
Kenya coach David Lungaho: "We don't have enough preparations, but we have the advantage of the team unity through having 7 main players from Prisons and 4 from Pipelines who are the top teams in Kenya. My players are ready from the participation in the local league and we consider the competition as a good preparation for the Club World Championship in Switzerland where the 7 players from Prisons will have good preparation to represent Africa.
Senegal coach Amadou Sene: "We are coming here this time to compete for a medal. We had a training camp in Mimes, France for a week early this month as we played some friendly matches which increased the team work between the local players and the foreign based stars in the French and Algerian leagues. We want also to use the momentum of our good results in the 2014 FIVB World Championship in Dakar where we won the gold medal of the 5 nation tournament ahead of Cape Verde, Guinea Conakry, Gambia and Sierra Leone. We started preparations three months ago in local camps for the home club players before having a collective training together with the foreign based two weeks ago.
Tunisia coach Mohamed Messalmani: "We had a training camp in Czech Republic to prepare for this competition which helped the new collection of players to come together in unity. We played also 5 matches there to elevate the team work of the players. I postponed selection of the final squad till the last moment after the last training session to give all the players the complete opportunity."