Kenya women’s national football team has reported to camp at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, to prepare for Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) Championship.
The Harambee Starlets team is now under coach Richard Kanyi, who was named head coach on Saturday afternoon, thereby taking over from David Ouma who took the team to last year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
With assistance from former player Mary Adhiambo, Kanyi’s immediate role will be to guide the team against the likes of Swaziland, Mozambique and Mauritius in the Cosafa tournament which will be held in Zimbabwean city of Bulawayo from September 13 to 24.
The Kenyan ladies are making their maiden appearance in the competition which is open to all of Cosafa’s 14 member countries, including Madagascar, Seychelles and South Africa.
Starlets have however been invited to compete in the tournament as guests, and are already viewed as heavy favourites to win the title following their triumphant qualification to the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations last year in Cameroon, as well as their second-place finish in the Cecafa Women’s Championship staged last August in Uganda.
A 30-member preliminary squad has been named for the tournament, including Kenya Defence Forces’ Neddy Atieno, who opted out of the Cameroon assignment last year to pursue a career in the military.
The team will use the tournament to prepare for qualifiers of the 2018 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations which begin early next year.
Meanwhile, the first batch of Kenya’s Under-20 team arrived safely in The Kingdom of Jordan on Monday ahead of a two-leg friendly match with their hosts. The second batch of players, comprised of youngsters who featured in the just-concluded East Africa Secondary School Games in Uganda, was scheduled to leave the country Monday evening for Jordan and could miss the first game which is slated for Tuesday afternoon.
The two games will be played on August 29 and 31 in Jordan, and will be used to prepare the youngsters for next month’s 2018 Fifa Under-20 Women’s World Cup qualifier against Ethiopia.
Preliminary squad: Goalkeepers: Vivian Akinyi, Jennipher Adhiambo, Jane Achila, Pauline Atieno
Defenders: Wendy Achieng, Irene Awuor, Dorcas Shikobe, Dorcas Anyango, Lilian Adera, Gererder Akinyi, Florence Awino, Esther Nandika, Jackline Musula
Midfielders: Winfred Achieng, Winnie Kanyotu, Lucy Mukhwana, Caroline Anyango, Cheris Avilia, Lydia Akoth, Janet Moraa
Strikers: Phoebe Oketch, Neddy Atieno, Teresa Engesha, Juliet Auma, Jacky Ogol, Mwanahalima Adam, Sharon Bushenei, Mary Kinuthia, Mercy Achieng, Judith Musimbi.