24 OCTOBER 2018 02:30Kenya coach David Ouma has named a provisional squad of 32 players who will enter camp on Monday October 29 in Nairobi to start preparations for next month’s final tournament in Ghana.
Ouma has named two foreign-based players; USA-based striker Marjolene Nekesa and Israel-based forward Esse Akida, who recently joined Ramat Hasharon.
The Kenya coach has maintained the same squad that did duty during the qualifiers as well as the CECAFA Women’s Championship last July. He has also included the trio of Terry Engesha, Mary Kinuthia and Christine Nafula, who have just returned from three-month stints in Sweden.
This is the first time the Harambee Starlets travel to a major championship with players who have had stints abroad and Ouma says it will be a big advantage for him heading into his second consecutive appearance at the continental finals. Kenya replaced Equatorial Guinea who were disqualified for fielding an ineligible player.
“I think it is very good even for the team because they bring in a lot of experience and maturity. Playing abroad really opens the eye of a player and I want to believe it is the same with them. In terms of leadership, they have also really improved and I am happy to have them in my team,” the tactician said.
Kenya is drawn in Group B of the final tournament and they will face off with holders Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia. They have played against all the three teams, having lost 5-0 to Nigeria in the last AWCON in Cameroon, lost 2-0 on aggregate to South Africa in the Olympic Qualifiers in 2016 and drew 1-1 with Zambia in last year’s COSAFA Championship.
“It is a tough pool, but everything is possible. We have nine points to fight for and we will fight for them,” the tactician said.
The team is expected to play two friendly matches, one against Uganda, before they fly out to Ghana on November 14.
Goalkeepers: Pauline Atieno (Makolanders), Maureen Shimuli (Wadadia), Annette Kundu (Eldoret Falcons), Monica Karambu (Thika Queens), Diana Tembesi (Wiyeta Girls)
Defenders: Lilian Adera (Vihiga Queens), Wendy Achieng (Spedag), Dorcas Shikobe (Oserian), Phelistus Kadari (Vihiga Queens), Wincate Kaari (Thika Queens), Elizabeth Ambogo (Spedag), Maureen Khakasa (Trans Nzoia Falcons), Juliet Auma (Thika Queens), Vivian Nasaka (Vihiga Queens)
Midfielders: Jentrix Shikangwa (Wiyeta Girls), Mary Kinuthia (Gaspo Youth), Sheril Angachi (Gaspo Youth), Ruth Ingosi (Eldoret Falcons), Corazone Aquino (Vihiga Queens), Elizabeth Wambui (Gaspo Youth), Martha Amunyolete (Trans Nzoia Falcons), Christine Nafula (Gaspo Youth), Cynthia Shilwatso (Vihiga Queens), Mercy Achieng (Thika Queens), Cheris Avilia (Spedag)
Forwards: Neddy Atieno (Makolanders), Esse Akida (Ramat Hasharon), Mwanahalima Adam (Thika Queens), Janet Bundi (Eldoret Falcons), Terry Engesha (Vihiga Queens), Phoebe Oketch (Vihiga Queens), Marjolene Nekesa (USA)