Volleyball star goes Greek

Tshepo Kehimile
THUMBS UP: Sikuku has moved to Greece to continue his professional career

High-flyer joins OFI Crete in one-year deal

Set to turn 28 on Friday, high-flying Volleyball star, Igobe Sikuku has earned himself the best birthday present ever: a one-year deal with a top team in Greece.

It marks the Tutume titan’s third assignment overseas, having previously enjoyed a short stint in Kuwait at Al Sahel Sporting before starring with Hapoel Jerusalem in Israel.

Sikuku’s eight-month adventure in the Middle East came to an end in April, where he finished as the league’s third best attacker and won the Israeli Cup’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) award despite his team losing in the semi-finals.

His exploits did not go unnoticed.

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OFI Crete Volleyball Club have now come calling for the 27-year-old’s services, with Sikuku leaving for the idyllic island of Crete, nestled in the crystal clear blue waters of the Mediterranean, two weeks ago.

Telling Voice Sport how the big move came about, Sikuku, revealed, “I played with this other guy from Canada while I was in Israel and I admired the work ethic of his agent so I was interested in working with the guy.

“My previous agent was more into taking me to Asia but Asian countries focus on results, they don’t really care about skill. So I choose an agent who had connections in Europe because there, it is all about learning and how you execute certain skills of play,” reasons Sikuku, who is one of only two local players currently competing at a professional level – the second being Gaoleseletse Gasekgonwe, who plays for Rwanda Revenue Authority.

The attacker’s new employers, OFI Crete, compete in the Greek A1 League, the highest level of professional volleyball in the country.

Volleyball star goes Greek
FLYING HIGH: The attacker in action

With the league set to start on 21 October – the same day Sikuku blows the candles out on his birthday cake – the local export is desperate to begin this exciting new chapter in his career.

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However, in a star-studded squad boasting a wealth of international talent, just securing a starting place would be an achievement on its own!

“For now it’s important that I know my teammates but it’s not going to be easy from the look of things because there are national team players from nations such as Italy, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Cuba and Brazil who are here too. For now I want to score 18 points or more per game from there I will be able to set more other achievable goals,” declared the man who only took up the sport at the age of 20 having previously harboured dreams of making it big in high jump.

Reflecting on his four months back in Botswana, the former Diphatsa player stressed he did not let the lack of competitive action locally frustrate him. Instead, he used the time to work on his fitness and finishing, putting his toned body through a punishing training regime as he waited for the phone to ring.

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“I don’t want a situation where I have to rely or blame anybody for my failures that’s why I push as much as possible so that if I fail, I do that alone and sit back and learn from my mistakes. I don’t want a situation where I point fingers at anyone for my failures, remember I got my contract at Israel during Covid-19 time where there was still no action locally,” explained Sikuku, displaying the attitude that has been a key part of his rise to the top.

Voice Sport wish him the best of luck in Greece; fly the flag high!

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