You need our experience, dropped Starlets’ Avilia tells Ouma


You need our experience, dropped Starlets' Avilia tells Ouma
Kenya National women football team players celebrate Cheris Avilia Salano's goal against Algeria during the final round of the 2016 Africa Women Cup of Nations qualifier at Safaricom Stadium Kasarani in Nairobi, Kenya on April 11, 2016. The match ended 1-1. Photo/Oliver Ananda/ Sportpicha

In Summary

  • Thika Queens and dropped Harambee Starlets ace Cheris Avilia has challenged coach David Ouma  to rethink his decision of axing experienced competitive players from the squad, at the peak of 2020 Olympics qualifiers.
  • A section of the players who sought anonymity initially said Football Kenya Federation (FKF) directed head coach David Ouma to drop the senior players who were complaining of their huge unpaid allowances.
  • Neddy Atieno, Sweden based duo of Mary Kinuthia and Christine Nafula, Israel based  Esse Akida, Wendy Achieng, Elizabeth Ambogo are among Avilia’s teammates who starred in Ouma’s previous squad in different competitions.
  • FKF however, thorough president Nick Mwendwa dismissed the claims saying the changes in the team were purely informed by their plan to rebuild giving a chance to the younger upcoming players.

Thika Queens and dropped Harambee Starlets ace Cheris Avilia has challenged coach David Ouma  to rethink his decision of axing experienced competitive players from the squad, at the peak of 2020 Olympics qualifiers.

A section of the players who sought anonymity initially said Football Kenya Federation (FKF) directed head coach David Ouma to drop the senior players who were complaining of their huge unpaid allowances.

FKF however, thorough president Nick Mwendwa dismissed the claims saying the changes in the team were purely informed by their plan to rebuild giving a chance to the younger upcoming players.

With Starlets only one hurdle to the Japan 2020 Olympics, Avilia has now come out to urge Ouma to rethink his decision to drop almost the entire team that featured in the 2016 African Women Cup of Nations (AWCON), and subsequent competitions including CECAFA and COSAFA.

“It was so painful for us for to be excluded after the sacrifices to fly the national flag high, maybe because of the allowances the federation owes us. FKF owes each payer who took part in the previous tournaments including AWCON 2016, COSAFA which was held in Zimbabwe in 2017 and 2018 AWCON qualifiers as well as international friendly matches. The amounts are as high as Sh. 100,000 for each player,” said Avilia, the scorer of the goal that sent Kenya to their debut AWCON.

Avilia notes for the pride of the nation, blending of the newly called up players with the still competitive veterans will be vital if Kenya has to sink Ghana’s Black Queens en route to Tokyo.

Essie Akida (left) in action for Harambee Starlets in the 2016 COTIF tournament in Spain. PHOTO/Courtesy/Cotif Media

Foreign based stars

“I congratulate coach Ouma and the newly assembled team for defeating Malawi in the second round of the qualifiers, but going to Accra for the first leg match against Ghana I believe some of us need to be called back to the squad. Ghana are very tough, you can’t compare them to Malawi. We have met them not once and I believe if he recalls us, we will add invaluable experience as we fight to feature in the Olympics for the first time,” explained the Business Administration undergraduate student at KEMU.

Neddy Atieno, Sweden based duo of Mary Kinuthia and Christine Nafula, Israel based  Esse Akida, Wendy Achieng, Elizabeth Ambogo are among Avilia’s teammates who starred in Ouma’s previous squad in different competitions.

Ironically, while the men’s team Harambee Stars has rode on the foreign based stars in most of the international duties, the few professional Starlets have been overlooked in the current campaign.

Black Queens thrashed Gabon 5-0 on aggregate to book a date with Starlets in the final round of the Olympics qualifiers.

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Story By Geoffrey Mwamburi
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