Long-serving national team and Kenya Pipeline setter Janet Wanja has announced her retirement from Malkia Strikers.
Wanja, however, will continue with her role at the national champions Pipeline.
Fresh from representing the oil girls at the Africa Club Championships in Tunisia, Wanja said: “I mean the signs were already there when we were axed alongside Brackcidise Agala prior to the Olympic qualifiers in Cameroon early last year, before we were recalled later for the World Qualifiers in Puerto Rico.”
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On arrival from Tunisia yesterday, Wanja added: “I don’t want to find myself in that awkward situation again but of importance though is that I will continue playing for my club unlike what the CAVB reported a while back that I had retired from playing altogether.”
Wanja a former Mukumu Girls High School player, however, threw jibe at young players saying they have to show commitment.
“People keep saying it is high time old players gave room to young players. Age is relative and again, how much are these young players doing to oust us? There is little effort from them. The upcoming players should prove their worth and let us feel their presence,” she observed.
“For us (with Janet Wacu) to make our way to the national team, we had to sacrifice a lot and train hard. It wasn’t easy for us to be where we are but we made use of the chance we were awarded regardless of the harsh conditions we used to train in. Unlike this generation where everything is different ranging from training allowances, work or contract. This favorable environment have provided them with a comfort zone and thus they are not putting the best foot forward. I am afraid. If they don’t change, then really our volleyball will continue to go down the hill.”
Asked what she will do besides playing for her club, Wanja, who recently turned 33, said she will venture into officiating.
“Our focus shifts back to the Kenya Volleyball Federation national league and defend the title. I look forward to enrolling in one of the forthcoming refereeing courses but that will come to pass if my employers will give me time because the course comes some few days to the league matches.”
In a career, spanning over a decade with the national team, Wanja has featured in all the major FIVB competitions including Olympic Games (2004), World Cup (2015), World Grand Prix (2016) and all levels of the CAVB women’s competitions.
At club level, she has also featured for Kenya Commercial Bank, Al Shabaab VC in Dubai, Rwanda Patriotic Army and now Kenya Pipeline.