Itigo Girls ripe for Chapa Dimba Rift gong – Kipruto
- Despite the exit of eight first team players from last year’s team which reached the Rift Regional Chapa Dimba final, Itigo girls head coach Emmanuel Kipruto is bullish his newly composed team will shine in this weekend’s finals.
- Kipruto underscores the rebuilding process has been successful going by the quality he has seen in training ahead of the Kericho Green Stadium fiesta.
- The winning teams in the regional finals will walk away with Sh. 200,000 each and a chance to represent the region in the national finals set for June 2020 in Mombasa.
Despite the exit of eight first team players from last year’s team which reached the Rift Regional Chapa Dimba final, Itigo girls head coach Emmanuel Kipruto is bullish his newly composed team will shine in this weekend’s finals.
Kipruto underscores the rebuilding process has been successful going by the quality he has seen in training ahead of the Kericho Green Stadium fiesta, noting the new players drawing inspiration from their predecessors who are now featuring for big clubs in the country.
Last season, the Nandi based Itigo lost in the regional final to Kitale Queens, who went on to win the national title.
“I lost eight girls from last year’s team, but I don’t regret it. One is now in Harambee Starlets and two are defenders in Kenyan Women Premier League teams. I know I will miss them, but the Form One students who joined us have integrated well with the rest,” the coach told Citizen Digital.
After losing in the Rift Regional finals, the school girls turned their focus to National School Games where they finished second gaining a ticket to represent the country in the East African Championship.
On the East African front, they won a bronze medal through a journey Kipruto says was important in their rebuilding process.
“The experience we gained in school games will help improve on our performance. This week we are working on improving on speed and ball work as part of our final touches towards the Chapa Dimba finale,” he added.
He is however aware of the threat paused by their opponents who have been enjoying regular competitive matches in County Leagues.
“I know we are going to meet a club which plays in the Kajiado County League, but I’m confident my girls’ are ready for them. We had quite good teams that we had to overcome to be here,” Kipruto said.
In the other girl’s semifinal, Bomet Queens from Bomet will take on Wiyeeta from West Pokot.
In the boy’s category, season one Champions Kapenguria Heroes from West Pokot will be looking to reclaim their lost glory but will first have to make it past White Rhino from Transmara.
Mercy Tarus of Itigo girls (left) tackles Peris Nafula of Kitale Queens (right) during the Safaricom Chapa Dimba season two, Rift region finals at Eldoret ASK Show grounds, Uasin Gishu county. Itigo girls lost the match to Kitale Queens 4-0. PHOTO – Courtesy.
Laiser Hill Academy from Kajiado on the other hand in the second semifinal will be locking horns with Tumkas FC from Uasin Gishu in the boys’ semis.
“Football is unpredictable, you may come prepared for a win but the odds don’t favor you. I know for sure it won’t be easy to secure a win, but we have trained hard in readiness for the teams we have been drawn against.
“With all the caution I still keep faith this time round we shall win and represent our region at the national finals,” Peter Tanui, Coach Tumkas FC.
The winning teams in the regional finals will walk away with Sh. 200,000 each and a chance to represent the region in the national finals set for June 2020 in Mombasa.
The runners up will pocket KES 100,000 with a host of individual prizes to be won.
So far, Nairobi’s Dagoretti Mixed High, Beijing Raiders from Starehe, Tumaini School from Makueni, Isiolo Starlets from Isiolo, North Eastern’s Berlin FC from Garissa and Coast region’s Yanga FC from Malindi have qualified for the nationals.
Kwale Ladies, Falling Waters from Laikipia and Ulinzi Youth from Nanyuki have also secured tickets to the national finals.
After the regional finals, an All-Star team comprising of 16 girls and 16 boys will be selected to attend a 10-day training camp in Spain.
In Spain, the teams will play friendlies against top Spanish La Liga Football Academies
Chapa Dimba na Safaricom Rift Regional Finals Fixtures
Itigo Girls vs Achievers – 9am
Wiyeeta vs Bomet Queens – 1pm
Tumkas vs Laiser Hill – 11am
White Rhino vs Kapenguri Heroes – 3pm
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