By Swalley Kenyi
Top Ugandan clubs appear to be more concerned about their domestic rivalry than challengers from Kenya, Rwanda Burundi and Tanzania.
Ugandan women champions,fell off at the group. Ndejje head coach Johnson Kawenyera blamed it on complacency because at the time his team had won almost every game domestic and international match they featured in.
“We are going into this year's contest as underdogs and it is our strength. We need to prove ourselves because we were disgraced last year. This year will be different,” Kawenyera explained.
He hopes to rely on the top form of the team’s setter Winnie Nakabuubi and seniority of team captain Belinda Jepkirui, Saidat Nnungi to take hosts KAVC, reigning champions Nkumba.
But one team that any of the women sides will ignore at their own peril will be debutants Vision Volleyball Camp (VVC).
After winning, six of the seven trophies from local championships and the Aporu Okol International championships this year against domestic rivals VVC coach Hannington Nsubuga cannot hide his ratings of the sides.
He has said that only Kenyan clubs Pipeline and Prisons are teams that can challenge his women while Nkumba and Ndejje lie at the bottom of the rankings.
"It is only the Kenyan teams that send shivers to us. We have done a lot of ground work against the local and Rwandese opponents. They are not up to the challenge," Nsubuga said.
But VVC will be without their power attacker Rachael Mugabi, who is committed at her place of work but Irene Adeke, Joan Nabuto, Zaina Kagoya and Peace Busingye are geared up.
In the men’s category, Shilla Omuriwe will need to balance her role as player on the KAVC women team as well as coach for the men as she pursues the club’s restoration of victory at the NSSF KAVC International championship.
KAVC men last won the championship in 2011 and as the most successful side in it with five trophies, Omuriwe, who is the only female coach in top flight Ugandan club will indeed leave a mark, if she wins the title.
But the likes of Sport-S, Rwanda’s Rayon Sport and the champions INATEK of are teams to challenge for the trophy.
All the preliminaries, quarterfinals and women’s semi-finals are expected to be played today while men’s semi-finals and all final matches are set for Sunday. The competitions will be spiced up with entertainment from top Ugandan artists courtesy of NSSF.
Reigning men's champion INATEK volleyball club from Rwanda will be the biggest foreign challengers while Rukinzo men from Burundi will not be an easy side to handle. The two sides have arrived for the competitions.
Draws for the NSSF KAVC International was due by press time. The games will have demonstration matches for people with disability playing sitting volleyball and schools volleyball at the MTN Arena.
All the women’s games will be played at the MTN Arena in Lugogo. The first semi-final is expected at 6pm while the second semi-final and the final are at 2pm on Sunday.
While the men’s games will be played at MUBS Arena and Namboole stadium today before the semi-finals and the final moves to the MTN Arena. Entry for all the matches at the MTN Arena will cost you sh3000 only.
''We are not scared of foreign teams''