Starlets lose dependable duo to KDF, Google

Omboudou Brigitie (left) of Cameroon tackles Neddy Atieno of Kenya during their Friendly International women ...
Omboudou Brigitie (left) of Cameroon tackles Neddy Atieno of Kenya during their Friendly International women match at the Safaricom Stadium Kasarani on October 22, 2016. Cameroon won 1-0. Photo/Oliver Ananda/

Dependable Harambee Starlets duo of striker Neddy Atieno and full-back Enez Mango will miss the Africa Women Cup of Nations (Awcon) in Cameroon next month after securing employment.

Mango who turned out for Vihiga Queens has joined Google Incorporated, the American multinational technology company specializing in Internet-related services and products while Atieno formerly of Kenya Methodist University has been recruited by the Kenya Defence Forces.

Starlets Team Manager Doreen Nabwire hailed their decision to seek greener pastures away from football despite their withdrawal being a huge blow to the side.

“It is true Neddy has joined the KDF and training is starting on October 30. I have talked with her bosses and some have told me there is a slight possibility for her release to join us for the competition if we submit a requisition letter.

“Others are not of the idea saying once she starts training, she will not be allowed to leave camp,” Nabwire told Citizen Digital on Tuesday.

“So far we are working on the issue but we are prepared for another option. If she joins us well and if she doesn’t, we shall know how to work without her,” she added.

Janet Moraa or utility player Elizabeth Ambogo who played at centre-half in last Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Cameroon can fill in for Atieno who went on a scoring spree when the team toured Rabat a fortnight ago.

Mango joined Google days before the team travelled to Morocco for their friendly matches.

“It’s a big challenge for us to work without Neddy because she is a fighter and always works hard for the team. You have to consider job opportunities since you can’t play football all your life.

“It’s also a big challenge for other players to think what else they can do apart from playing soccer,” Nabwire told.

The team is preparing to face Egypt on Friday at Safaricom Stadium, Kasarani with the visitors already in the country for the friendly tie.

Starlets played Egypt last year at the Machakos Stadium where they lost 1-0 and Nabwire hopes his team is well prepared for the task.

“I think it will be a fair match having in mind that they are also in the Awcon .I’m optimistic we are going to have a good result.”

Before the clash, the Pharaohs will play Women Premier League side, Thika Queens on Wednesday evening.

Harambee Stars first coach, Stanley Okumbi has joined the Starlets team led by David Ouma in camp to assist in their preparations with emphasis on finishing.

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Story By Geoffrey Mwamburi
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