Regulars Jacky Ogol and Sharon Bushenei are the surprise exclusions from the 20-member women’s Harambee Starlets’ squad which depart today for the Confederation of South African Football Associations (Cosafa) Cup in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
The two, who feature for Spedag team in the ongoing women’s Kenya Premier League, have turned up for the national team in previous assignments including last year’s Cecafa in Uganda and African Women Cup of Nations in Cameroon. Midfielder Ogol, who made two assists in the coastal side’s win against their compatriots Mombasa Olympic 3-2 10 days ago, was overlooked by the recently appointed coach Richard Kanyi as he gave a debut to Gaspo’s Florence Awino. Other players in the midfield include Spedag duo of Carolyne Anyango and Cheris Avilia and Caroline Kiget of Thika Queens.
Striker Bushenei, who boast of four goals in her name in the league, failed to make the cut as new comers Lucy Mukhwana (KDF) and Phoebe Oketch (Vihiga Queens) caught the eye of the tactician. The striking department also witnessed the return of Neddy Atieno (KDF) and Mwanahalima Adam, both of whom were not part of the AWCON squad and start favourites, thanks to their formidable combination up-front. Other players in the department are Janet Moraa (Nyamira Starlets) and Mercy Achieng (Thika Queens). Captain and combative Wendy Achieng headline the defence department that has also Dorcas Shikobe (Oserian), Doris Anyango (Spedag), Lillian Adera (Vihiga Queens), Pauline Musungu (Makoladers) and new comers Esther Nandika(Soccer Queens) and Juliet Auma (Thika Queens).
Makolander’s custodian Pauline Atieno makes a return to the squad having been in the cold for the better part of last year’s national team assignments. Thika Queens custodian Monica Karambu was also drafted in the goal-keeping department alongside Jenifer Adhiambo from Mathare United .
Others who were axed include goalkeepers Vivian Akinyi, Jane Achila; defenders: Jackline Musila Gererder Akinyi, Jackline Musula and midfield: Winfred Achieng, Winnie Kanyotu and Lydia Akoth. Strikers Judith Musimbi, and Teresa Engesha didn’t also impress Kanyi.
Kenya, who are making their maiden appearance in the invitational event, have been drawn in Pool ‘B’ alongside Mauritius, Mozambique and Swaziland. The event is scheduled for September 13-24.