Sports

Qualifying for WAFCON vital for Women’s football growth – Starlets


NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 25 – Harambee Starlets midfielder Elizabeth Wambui says the team will give their all to qualify for the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON), as it will open more doors for women’s football in Kenya.

Wambui, who plays her club football in Tanzania with Simba SC Women says playing at the biggest tournament in the Continent will offer massive exposure, and an opportunity to show their talent.

This is a good opportunity for Kenya women’s football. It will give us a chance to show ourselves to the rest of the continent and the world and will give us a chance for exposure. Football is all about being seen and playing at such a big stage is vital,” Wambui says.

Starlets intensify training 

Harambee Starlets forward Joy Kinglady skips past goalkeeper Lilian Awuor during a training session at Kasarani. PHOTO/FKF

Starlets are scheduled to play against Botswana in the final round of qualification for the WAFCON. The first leg is penciled for Wednesday at the Nyayo National Stadium.

Kenya progressed to the final qualification round after edging out giants Cameroon on post-match penalties following a 1-1 aggregate draw.

The team has been training at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani for a week now, in readiness for the duel.

Head coach Beldine Odemba has been boosted with the arrival of the Simba trio of Wambui, Corazone Aquino and goalkeeper Caroline Rufa. Midfielder Lorna Nyarinda who plays her club football in Albania with FK Apolonia Fier has also arrived.

More foreign based players expected 

Harambee Starlets midfielder Corazone Aquino during a training session at Kasarani. PHOTO/FKF
Harambee Starlets midfielder Corazone Aquino during a training session at Kasarani. PHOTO/FKF

Czech Republic based Marjolene Nekesa, who missed the Cameroon match with injury, is also expected in the country on Friday.

“Training has been going on very well and the girls are gelling. We are expecting the others to start arriving as from this weekend so next week will be just about brushing the finer details,” said Odemba.

Harambee Starlets provisional squad

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Goalkeepers

Annedy Kundu (Ness Atromitou FC), Caroline Rufa (Simba Queens), Lilian Awuor (ASJ Soyaux Charente), Mishi Mbaru (Kenya Police Bullets)

Defenders

Ruth Ingosi (Simba Queens), Phoebe Owiti (Gokulam Kerala FC), Dorcas Shikobe (Sirines of Grevana), Juliet Auma (Kenya Police Bullets), Centrine Wasike (Bungoma Queens), Vivian Nasaka (Hakkarigucuspor), Enez Mango (Farul Constata), Fosca Nashivanda (Zetech Sparks)

Midfielders

Corazone Aquino (Simba Queens), Ketsia Ngaira (Ulinzi Starlets), Lorna Nyarinda (FK Apolonia Fier), Mercyline Wayodi (Vihiga Queens), Fasila Adhiambo (Ulinzi Starlets), Marjolene Nekesa (SK Slavia Praha), Cynthia Shilwatso (FC Kryvbas Women)

Forwards

Mwanalima Adam (Hakkarigucuspor), Joy Kinglady (Ulinzi Starlets), Jentrix Shikangwa (Beijing Jingtan FC), Tereza Engesha (Hyundai Steel R.A), Violet Nanjala (AMLFF LAAYOUNE), Airine Madalina (Bunyore Starlets), Elizabeth Wambui (Simba Queens) Janet Bundi (Vihiga Queens), Rebecca Okwaro (Kenya Police Bullets), Nancy Atako (Kibera Girls Soccer)

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