Harambee Starlets provisional squad for WAFCON qualifier named
FC PAOK forward Esse Akida has made a return to the national women's team Harambee Starlets after head coach Beldine Odemba named a provisional squad for the 2024 Africa Women's Cup of Nations (WAFCON).
Kenya will face Cameroon in the first round of the qualification journey, and Akida is among the players returning, including SK Slavia Praha midfielder Marjolene Nekesa and Ulinzi Starlets' Mercy Airo.
Soccer Assassins’ Valerie Leah Nekesa, Airin Madalina, Lavender Atieno, Simba Queens goalkeeper Caroline Rufa, and Kenya Police Bullets defender Quinter Owiti are the players who have been called up for the first time.
The team is under Odemba, who took over when Godfrey 'Solo' Oduor left the position for Nzoia Sugar. Oduor was only in charge of the women's team for one game before he was appointed by the Sugar Millers, who were looking for a coach after Salim Bbau's departure to Police FC.
Meanwhile, the Indomitable Lionesses will host Kenya on September 22, before the return leg action four days later in Nairobi.
Should Kenya see off the Central Africans, they will be up against the winner between Gabon and Botswana in the second round. The winner of the second round will qualify for the WAFCON finals, which will be held in Morocco.
Harambee Starlets will report to camp on Sunday, September 10, 2023.
Goalkeepers: Valentine Khwaka (Kenya Police Bullets FC), Annedy Kundu (Ness Atromitos FC), Caroline Rufa (Simba Queens)
Defenders: Christine Awuor (Zetech Sparks), Lavender Atieno Okeyo (Kenya Police Bullets FC), Phoebe Owiti (Vihiga Queens), Dorcas Shikobe (Sirines of Grevena), Enez Mango (Farul Constanta), Wincate Kaari (Yanga Princess), Ruth Ingosi (Simba Queens), Vivian Nasaka (Hakkarigucuspor), Quinter Owiti (Kenya Police Bullets FC), Janet Moraa (Vihiga Queens).
Midfielders: Cynthia Shilwatso (FC Kryvbas Women), Sheryl Angachi (Ulinzi Starlets), Ketsia Ngaira (Ulinzi Starlets), Vivian Corazone (Simba Queens), Marjolene Nekesa (SK Slavia Praha), and Mercyline Anyango (JFK Panthers).
Forwards: Jentrix Shikangwa (Beijing Jingtan FC), Topista Situma (Fountain Gates Princess), Elizabeth Wambui (Simba Queens), Mwanalima Adam (Hakkarigucuspor), Airin Madalina (Bunyore Starlets), Esse Akida (FC PAOK), Tereza Engesha (Hyundai Steel R.A.), Purity Alukwe (Kenya Police Bullets FC), Violet Nanjala (Amlf Laayoune), Valerie Leah Nekesa (Soccer Assassins), Mercy Airo (Ulinzi Starlets)