Ouma happy to test Starlets against the best in Turkey

Coach David Ouma says the Turkish Women’s Cup represents an immense opportunity for Harambee Starlets to compare themselves against high ranking opponents in world football.

Starlets have been invited to the tournament along with Ghana, Hungary, Venezuela, Hong Kong, Romania, Uzbekistan, Northern Ireland, Turkmenistan and Chile.

The Kenyans, and Turkmenistan who are not ranked by FIFA, are the only team placed outside the top 75 places and will start their campaign against Northern Ireland (56) on March 3.

A total of 23 players reported to camp on Monday morning with striker Elizabeth Katungwa missing out due to personal commitments while midfielder Cynthia Shilwatso is expected to join them later Wednesday.

“My hope is that by the end of this week, the 21 players that will make the cut will be confident in playing against some of the best women’s football teams, as we continue to set the bar high on professional women football in our country.

“Most of them are young and have no much experience in playing for the national team, hence it will be easier to teach them and help them feel at ease playing at this level.

“I will make sure I emphasis on physical and mental strength skills because I don’t want my players to feel intimidated by some of the teams that are obviously rated higher than,” said Ouma.

Starlets are sechudled to play Chile who are ranked 32nd before facing top African side Ghana who placed 46 in the world.

A total of 23 players reported to camp on Monday morning with striker Elizabeth Katungwa missing out due to personal commitmentsi while midfielder Cynthia Shilwatso who turns out for Vihiga Queens joining them later in the day but striker Mwanalima Adam of Thika Queens is in camp.

Striker Mwanalima Adam, veteran defender Dorcas Shikobe, midfielder Janet Bundi and Mercy Airo are in camp where Starlets will play a friendly match against the Kenya National U16 Boys team on Friday.

The Turkish Women’s Cup tourney is scheduled to run from March 2 to 11 ahead of the 2020 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) Qualifiers in April.

The final squad which will comprise of 21 players and will be named on Monday, March 2.

Kenya received an invitation to play in Europe in 2016 at the Torneo Internacional de Fútbol Sub-20 de L’Alcúdia (also known as COTIF) in Spain where they finished  fourth.


Starlets Squad in Camp:

Goalkeepers: Monica Odato (Wadadia), Phiona Ariko (Thika Queens), Stella Anolo (Zetech Sparks), Judith Osimbo (Gaspo Youth)

Defenders: Dorcas Shikobe (Oserian), Lucy Akoth (Mathare United), Diana Hashina (Acakoro), Lydia Akoth (Thika Queens), Vivian Nasaka (Vihiga Queens), Cynthia Livondo (Trans Nzoia Falcons), Dorcas Shiveka (Eldoret Falcons), Nelly Sawe (Thika Queens)

Midfielders: Cynthia Shilwatso (Vihiga Queens), Janet Bundi (Eldoret Falcons), Elizabeth Katungwa (Mombasa Olympics), Jane Njeri (Falling Waters), Jentrix Shikangwa (Wiyeta Girls), Rachael Muema (Thika Queens), Cynthia Kaveya (Thika Queens), Sheryl Angach (Gaspo), Silvia Makhungu (Kariobangi North), Mercy Airo (Kisumu All Starlets)

Forwards: Mwanalima Adam (Thika Queens), Stella Anyango (Nakuru All Stars), Purity Alukwe (Zetech Sparks)