NAIROBI, Kenya- Harambee Starlets conducted their first training session on Wednesday evening after converging for their training camp ahead of their 2018 Africa Womens Cup of Nations qualifier against Equatorial Guinea.
Starlets will welcome Equatorial Guinea for the first leg on June 6 before the return three days later in Bata with the winner making the AWCON finals in Ghana.
According to the Football Kenya Federation (FKF), David Ouma named a squad of 26 to prepare for the two-legged second and final round of qualifiers hoping to punch a ticket to the continental showpiece for the second successive occasion following their 2016 debut in Cameroon.
The former SportPesa Premier League side Sofapaka FC head coach included 2018 FKF Women Premier League stars, Teresa Engesha (Vihiga Queens FC) and Janet Bundi (Eldoret Falcons FC) who are in line for their national team debut.
Experienced forwards, Mwanahalima Adam, Neddy Atieno and Esse Mbeyu Akida also made the cut alongside Corazon Aquino and Cheris Avilia in midfield.
In defence, Ouma will be banking on Wendy Achieng’, Dorcas Sikobe and Doris Anyango who formed the backbone of the successful 2016 side.
Kenya exited the 2016 AWCON in the group phase after losing to western African stalwarts, champions Nigeria, 2018 hosts Ghana and Mali.
Seven teams will join home team Ghana in the 11th edition of the tournament scheduled to run from November 17 to December 1 with the top three teams qualifying for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
Record winners Nigeria, Algeria, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Mali, Gambia, Congo, Cameroon, South Africa, Lesotho, Zambia and Zimbabwe are the other nations in the running for the available slots in the final.
Starlets Provisional Squad
Poline Atieno (Makolanders), Annette Kundu (Eldoret Falcons), Maureen Shimuli (Wadadia), Lilian Awuor (Vihiga Queens)
Wendy Achieng (Spedag), Dorcas Sikobe (Oserian Ladies), Doris Anyango (Spedag), Elizabeth Ambogo (Spedag), Phelistus Kadari (Vihiga Queens), Lilian Adera (Vihiga Queens), Vivian Nasaka (Vihiga Queens), Anita Adongo (Oserian Ladies)
Cheris Avilia (Spedag), Ruth Ingosi (Eldoret Falcons), Sheryl Angachi (Gaspo Youth), Corazon Aquino (Vihiga Queens), Faith Kwamboka (Thika Queens), Caroline Anyango (Spedag)
Mwanahalima Adam (Thika Queens), Mercy Achieng (Thika Queens), Neddy Atieno (Makolanders), Esse Akida (Spedag), Janet Bundi (Eldoret Falcons), Teresa Engesha (Vihiga Queens), Cynthia Shilwatso (Vihiga Queens), Mary Kinuthia (Gaspo Youth)