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Starlets name 39 for 2020 Olympics qualifier

Harambee Starlets players celebrate their equalizing goal during the game against Equatorial Guinea at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 10 – Football Kenya Federation has released a squad of 39 Harambee Starlets players set to kick off camp this Sunday ahead of next month’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifier against Malawi.

The list of 39 comprises hugely of a young squad scouted from the Women’s Premier League and among the star players missing from the squad include striker Esse Akida who has just returned from a stint in Israel as well as midfielders Cherish Avilia and Christine Nafula.

Also left out from the provisional team is former captain Wendy Achieng, as well as regulars Mary Kinuthia and Neddy Atieno, while there is a return for the experienced Enez Mango.

The team will hold a five-day residential camp, with training sessions scheduled to be held at Camp Toyoyo, before they break on July 19, to their respective clubs for their weekend Premier League matches.

The first leg of the qualifier has been slated for August 28, with the second leg set to be played on September 1.

The qualifying tournament, which is in its fifth edition, will determine which team gains qualification to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan. Only the winner will qualify while the losing finalist will have a play-off chance against a team from the South American Confederation.

Starlets were handed a bye into the second round of qualification based on their ranking while Malawi qualified after thrashing Mozambique 14-1.

A win in this round will see Kenya book a slot against the winner between Gabon and Ghana.

Harambee Starlets Provisional Squad

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Goalkeepers; Wilfrida Seda (Vihiga Queens), Judith Osimbo (Gaspo Youth), Elizabeth Atieno (Wadadia), Annette Kundu (Eldoret Falcons), Lilian Awuor (Vihiga Queens)

Defenders; Lilian Adera (Vihiga Queens), Maureen Khakasa (Trans Nzoia Falcons), Vivian Nasaka (Vihiga Queens), Enez Mango (Vihiga Queens), Dorcas Sikobe (Oserian), Esther Nadika (Gaspo), Lucy Akoth (Mathare United Women), Lidiah Nasike (Makolanders), Lydia Akoth (Thika Queens), Stella Anyango (Gaspo)

Midfielders; Myline Awuor (Vihiga Queens), Sheril Angachi (Gaspo), Cynthia Shilwatso (Vihiga Queens), Vivian Corazone (Gaspo), Yvonne Kavere (Soccer Queens), Cynthia Matekwa (Nyuki Starlets), Janet Bundi (Eldoret Falcons), Rebecca Akinyi (Oserian Ladies), Maurine Achieng (Vihiga Queens), Martha Amunyolete (Trans Nzoia Falcons), Bertha Omita (Kisumu All Starlets), Mwanahalima Adam (Thika Queens), Rachael Muema (Thika Queens), Elizabeth Wambui (Thika Queens)

Forwards; Topista Nafula (Vihiga Queens), Tumaini Waliaula (Trans Nzoia Falcons), Mercy Airo (Kisumu All Starlets), Phoebe Owiti (Vihiga Queens), Terry Engesha (Vihiga Queens), Susan Muhonja (Trans Nzoia Falcons), Cynthia Achieng (Kisumu All Starlets), Winnie Kanyotu (Gaspo Youth), Elizabeth Katungwa (Kwale Girls)

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