Vihiga Queens confident as they leave for maiden CAF women Champions League
Barry Silah and Charles Thuku
The 2021 CECAFA Club Championships winners Vihiga Queens were bullish as they left the country yesterday ahead of the first edition of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Womens’ Champions League that kicks off this weekend in Cairo, Egypt.
Queens, who are also the 2019 Kenya Women Premier League title winners, believe that advancing to the finals in the eight-team competition and eventually winning the title is not too much to ask.
The Kenyan representatives are in Group ‘’B’’ alongside Nigeria’s River Angels FC, Asfar FC of Morocco and Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa.
Speaking after conducting the team’s training session at Goan Institute grounds in Pangani on Tuesday, Queens acting head coach Charles Okere said the girls were in high spirits.
“Of course, we do not expect to have an easy tournament but I believe we are up to the task.
There is an incredible excitement which is building up amongst my players and I can only say that they cannot wait to play at the big platform,” said Okere who doubles up as Harambee Starlets tactician.
Okere pointed out that he was satisfied with the input of all his players during training sessions.
“The high fitness levels are palpable. I have rectified the grey areas and it up to the players to demonstrate what they have learned in training.
We may be in a seemingly group of death but I have this feeling that we can navigate through to the finals and finally win title,” said Okere.
He added:”Such competitions are not for the faint-hearted but I have instructed the players to avoid stage fright.
My major worry was on fitness levels but that has now been solved. So far so good,”
The tactician also reckoned that he was overly glad for his team to have punched above its weight in the club championships held in Nairobi last August in which they were crowned the regional champions.
“There were many people casting doubts on our chances to win the event but the players proved them wrong.
This was a win which we dedicated to Football Kenya Federation (FKF), Sports ministry and Vihiga County Government for their unswerving support towards the team,” said Okere.
Queens’ 23-member squad is scheduled to leave this morning for Cairo and among the key players is Jentrix Shikangwa, who was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the regional championships in Nairobi, Terry Engesha and Lilian Awuor.