Starlets to face Uganda, Ethiopia at CECAFA


Starlets to face Uganda, Ethiopia at CECAFA
Harambee Starleyts players take part in an endurance drill during their Wednesday morning training session at Camp Toyoyo. (PHOTO/FKF Media)

In Summary

  • The national women’s football team will face Uganda, Ethiopia and Djibouti after they were drawn in Pool B along with the trio at this year’s CECAFA Women's Senior Challenge that will be held in Tanzania
  • Pool A consists of the hosts, rivals Zanzibar, Burundi and South Sudan with Dar es Salaam's Chamazi Complex chosen to host the November 14-23 tournament

The national women’s football team will face Uganda, Ethiopia and Djibouti after they were drawn in Pool B along with the trio at this year’s CECAFA Women’s Senior Challenge that will be held in Tanzania.

Pool A consists of the hosts, rivals Zanzibar, Burundi and South Sudan with Dar es Salaam’s Chamazi Complex chosen to host the November 14-23 tournament.

Speaking to Citizen Digital, the National women Football team assistant coach Jackline Juma admitted her side are in a tougher group but she believes they are ready for the challenge.

“This will be a very tough task to my girls but I think we will give it to our best. We have gained more experience from tournaments like AWCON compared to Uganda and Djibouti.”

The tournament will be held two days after Starlets second leg Olympic qualifier match against Zambia have been played and thus they will be fit enough to register good performance something which coach Juma believes it’s a boost to them.

“We will actually have few days of preparations because we have been actively playing. Our fourth round of the Olympic qualifiers has been slated for November 4 and 12 so we will be physically fit.

“I think me and my head coach Ouma will call a huge squad when reporting to the camp next week for CECAFA and this will offer us a chance to inject new players to showcase their talent in the regional tournament,” she said.

Her sentiments were also echoed by Harambee Starlets midfielder Corazone Acquino who said the tournament comes at the right time for them to continue staying active in football.

“I think it’s a good idea having the tournament now because it will keep us on toes ahead of the our Olympics qualifier against Zambia,” she said.

Starlets open their campaign against Ethiopia on November 15 having met in a friendly in Machakos a few weeks ago where Kenya emerged 3-2 victorious.

However Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa warned on Friday that Starlets could be forced to pull out of the tournament if the the government fails to fund their trip.

“The ladies haven’t received money from the Government. They have done a lot for the country, beating World cup participants Ghana home and away to make a date with Zambia in the fourth round is not a joke.

“As a federation, we keep writing to the Sports ministry through the Permanent Secretary asking for money to boost the girls but we have not yet gotten a response.

“I want to state here categorically that if by Tuesday next week the money we asked for will not have checked in the account then Starlets will not report to the camp,” Mwendwa said.

Starlets finished fourth in the last CECAFA edition in Kigali, Rwanda compared to a better performance in the maiden edition in 2016 where they proceeded to the finals and lost 1-0 to Tanzania.

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Story By Geoffrey Mwamburi
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