Key Harambee Starlets player explains WAFCON qualifier absence
Harambee Starlets midfielder Marjolen Nekesa has explained her absence from the squad that will face Cameroon in a 2024 Women's Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) qualifier.
The national women's team left for Douala on Tuesday, September 19, 2023, for the first leg of action against the Indomitable Lionesses on Friday, but Nekesa was not named in the travelling squad.
Her absence was conspicuous, but the Slavia Prague Women star has revealed why she was not part of the team.
"Due to health issues, I haven’t been able to join the team this time, but I wish the team all the best in the coming matches.
"I'm still keeping my dream alive and looking forward to featuring for the national team in future assignments," Nekesa said, as quoted by a local publication.
Head coach Beldine Odemba had summoned her for national duty, and Nekesa said the call-up was an honour since she had waited for it.
"It was an honor to be trusted and called up for the national team.
"I have waited for such a moment to represent my country and accomplish my childhood dream, but God decided it wasn’t time yet," she continued.
Kenya will host Cameroon on September 26, and should they win the two-legged qualifier, Starlets will then face Gabon or Botswana in the second round.
The winner of the second round of action, slated between November 27 and December 5, will then secure a ticket to the Morocco WAFCON finals.
Harambee Starlets' squad
Goalkeepers: Valentine Kwaka (Kenya Police Bullets FC), Annedy Kundu (Ness Atromitos FC), Caroline Rufa (Simba Queens)
Defenders: Phoebe Owiti (Vihiga Queens), Enez Mango (Farul Constanta), Wincate Kaari (Yanga Princess), Ruth Ingosi (Simba Queens), Vivian Nasaka (Hakkarigucuspor), Janet Moraa (Vihiga Queens), Waganda Lydia Akoth (Buja Queens), Juliet Auma (Kenya Police Bullets)
Midfielders: Cynthia Shilwatso (FC Kryvbas Women), Sheryl Angachi (Ulinzi Starlets), Vivian Corazone (Simba Queens), Mercyline Anyango (JFK Panthers), Mercy Njeri (Kenya Police Bullets).
Forwards: Jentrix Shikangwa (Beijing Jingtan FC), Elizabeth Wambui (Simba Queens), Mwanalima Adam (Hakkarigucuspor), Esse Akida (FC PAOK), Tereza Engesha (Hyundai Steel R.A.), Violet Nanjala (AMLFF Laayoune), Mercy Airo (Ulinzi Starlets)