Kenya is set to host the inaugural Cecafa Women’s U-20 tournament this month as and a total of 36 players are set to don the Harambee starlets colors as representatives of Kenya in this tournament after 3 days of tryouts at the Barclays Sports Club Nairobi. 19 of those players chosen are from the Kenya Women Premier League and they will be Coached by Florence Adhiambo.
Cecafa secretary general, Nicholas Musonye has confirmed in the past that seven tournaments will be held with the first being the U-17 Challenge Cup to be hosted by Eritrea in June and concluded with the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup which will be hosted by Uganda in December 2019.
Under the Fifa rules, regional sub confederations have to organize at least two age group competitions for both men and women in order to be eligible to receive funding worth $ 1 million every year. Which is why they are motivated to host these events so they don’t lose the funding even after canceling a few of those tournaments in the past.
Those selected for the group include Stella Ahono (Bishop Njenga), Caroline Rufa (Nthiwa Queens), Valentine Odeu (Wiyeta Girls), Sheila Kiprop (Wiyeta Girls), Esther Amakobe (Nyuki Starlets) Teresia Lundu (Mathare United), Beverline Achieng (K’obala Mixed), Cynthia Matekwa (Nyuki Starlets), Diana Hashina (Acakoro), Judith Atieno (Mathare United), Laventine Lihemo (Wiyeta Girls), Joy Kinglady (Kwale Girls), Lenah Wanjala (Nyuki Starlets)
We hope that they will fare better at representing Kenya at this tournament, unlike the Senior Harambee Starlets team that was a disappointment in the previous year’s 2018 CECAFA Women Championships.
The Starlets won one match (Rwanda 2-0), drew one (1-1 Tanzania) and lost to (0-1 Uganda and 0-1 Ethiopia), finishing fourth behind Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania, who defended the title having won the 2016 edition in Uganda.
Tanzania is set to host the 2019 Cecafa Women’s Challenge Cup in November. They also happen to be the reigning Women’s Champs after defeating Ethiopia 4-1 in the finals last year.
The Harambee Starlets are currently ranked number 138 by FIFA having dropped 3 spots from their previous rankings and 6 spots above their lowest ever rankings, with their highest being 92. Since their inception in 1993, they have been to one Africa Women Cup of Nations in 2016.