The national under-21 men’s volleyball team has set a top three target finish at the upcoming African U21 Championship as they bid for a ticket to the 2019 FIVB U21 World Cup.
This year’s African U21 Men’s Volleyball Championship is scheduled for September 12-19 in Nigeria, and will double as qualifiers for next year’s World Cup of the same age category.
Speaking to Sunday Sport on Friday, head coach Paul Bitok also revealed that the team will enter residential camp on August 31 for intensive preparations.
“We started training earlier this month, and we will be reporting to residential camp for intensive preparations next week. When we travel to Nigeria for the African championship, the target will be to fight and finish in the top three and book ticket to the World Cup next year,” Bikot said.
The Kenyan-born tactician singled out Tunisia, Egypt and hosts Nigeria as Rwanda’s toughest opponents at the event. “We need to prepare accordingly, and be at our best to face anyone.”
“As part of our preparations, we will need a few international friendly games – otherwise overcoming North African teams won’t come easy,” he further noted.
Rwanda beat Morocco to finish third at the 2013 edition in Tunisia, and as a result qualified for the FIVB U21 World Cup
Paul Bitok’s side will be vying for a podium finish in an eight-team contest against the defending champions Egypt, the hosts Nigeria, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Botswana.
Setter:Cedric Ngaboyintwari (APR VC), Ange Felix De Valois Iradukunda (KVC), Jackson Ntoranyi (Kirehe VC)
Left:Wilcriff Dusengimana (APR VC), Eric Kwizera (St Joseph), Salomon Matsiko (UNIK VC), Dieu Est La Ndahayo (Don Bosco Gatenga) and Theoneste Rwahama (IPRC West).
Right:Herve Martial Inkoramutima (REG VC), Sadru Manzi (UNIK VC) and Faustin Etienne Ntirushwa (Kirehe VC)
Centre: Thiery Ronald Muvara (APR VC), Yvan Mukerangabo Hahirwa (Gisagara VC), Cedrick Kageruka (Christ Roi), Christian Muhire (UNIK VC), Romeoh Ngabo Rwamuhizi (PSVF), Frank Shyaka (Christ Roi)
Libero: Bertin Masabo (PSVF) and Jules Niyigena (UTB).