Is Bitok quitting Malkia Strikers job?
Published on: October 01, 2019 06:32 (EAT)
Malkia Strikers head coach Paul Bitok could be on his way out of the team barely two months after taking over from Shailene Ramdoo, describing his short stint as a “rescue mission.” After an illustrious 10-year coaching career in Rwanda, Bitok came back and immediately led Malkia to African Games title before embarking on a failed World Cup campaign in Japan, where he lost 10 matches. The 46-year old former KCB player says he came back home to serve in a different capacity, noting his appointment to the Malkia head coach role was not permanent. “I thank my players for their fair performance in Japan although the outing was not good as we wanted, but there was a great improvement in terms of mode of play.” He went on: “We have laid good foundation since I took over going all through to defend our African Games title in Morocco and the next coach will find a good team. I don’t have a contract with the team and that’s why I am saying I was just on a rescue mission,” announced the coach at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport upon arrival from Japan on Tuesday. Bitok is reportedly preparing to succeed long-serving Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF) president Waithaka Kioni after his term ends in 2021. The former Kenya men’s team captain who became the first Kenyan male player to play professional volleyball outside the country when he signed for Tunisian side Etiole Sportiff in 1998, says he has learnt a lot during his tenure in Rwanda. He helped them to rise and become one of the best in Africa across all categories. Bitok was appointed in 2010 as head coach of the men’s senior team, but also handled other national teams at different levels in different regional and international competitions. He guided both the men and women’s teams in this year’s World Beach Volleyball Championship, Rwanda being the only country to qualify both teams. Malkia Strikers will be shifting their focus to the African qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games set for January next year. It could be a big blow for the queens who are eyeing a return to the Games after 15-year drought should Bitok walk his talk.