Eyes on COSAFA glory as Starlets gather in Kasarani
National women football team Harambee Starlets on Monday kicked off their training ahead of the Council of South Africa Football Association (COSAFA) tournament slated for September 13 to 24 this year, in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
The 30- player squad under the stewardship of Head Coach Richard Kanyi and assistant coach Mary Adhiambo reported to the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Sunday, for the residential training with the travel date yet to be announced.
Speaking to Citizen Digital, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa said the tournament will go a long way in improving the team in the federation’s efforts to transform the team to a football powerhouse in the region.
“We must take our girls to such tournaments because in football you can only improve if you play. Thus, we will be able to tell the progress we have made so far by measuring it against the COSAFA teams.
“In the past there was very little activity for our team but in line with the women football development agenda of the federation as required by FIFA, we must show pragmatic moves through such competitions,” Mwendwa told.
In 2016, Starlets played in their maiden African Women Cup of Nations (AWCON), and have been quite inactive since the Cameroon continental tournament.
Kanyi charges will play their first COSAFA match on September 14 against Mozambique before taking on Mauritius on September 16, before completing their group stage matches by playing against Swaziland on September 18 with all the matches set to be played at Luveve Stadium.
A total of 12 teams will take part in the fifth edition which includes; Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Kenya (guest), Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe will be hosting the competition for the third time after 2002 and 2011, where they went on to win the tournament in the latter edition.
Luveve, White City and Barbourfields are the stadia set to host the tourney.
Vivian Akinyi, Jenipher Adhiambo, Paul Atieno, Jane Achila, Wendy-Ann Achieng, Irene Awuor, Dorcas Shikobe, Caroline Anyango, Cheris Avilia, Sharon Bushenei, Mary Wanjiku, Dorcas Anyango, Jacky Ogol, Mwanahalima Adams, Lydia Akoth, Judith Musimbi, Lilian Adera, Janet Moraa, Mercy Achieng, Gererder Akinyi, Phoebe Oketch, Neddy Atieno, Teresa Engesha, Juliet Auma, Winfred Achieng, Winnie Kanyotu, Esther Nandika, Jackline Musula, Florence Awino and Lucy Mukhwana.
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