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Kenyan girls in high spirits ahead of women’s AFCON debut

Football Kenya Federation president Nick Mwendwa has backed the national women team to attain at the very least a semi-final finish at the African Women Cup of Nations.

The Harambee Starlets are set to depart for Cameroon on Friday to compete in the eight-team continental competition which will commence in Yaoundé on November 19.

The Kenyan team will be based in Limbe, a coastal city located some 300km away from Yaoundé, from where they will play their three group matches against defending champions Nigeria, Mali and Gabon at the Stade Municipal de Limbe.

“The aim is to get to the semi-finals of the competition, that is what we have planned for since we qualified for the tournament in January. That is partly why we are heading to Cameroon 14 days to the start of the competition, because we need to acclimatize,” Mwendwa told Nairobi News.

GOOD PREPARATIONS

Kenya earned its place at the event following aggregate wins over Botswana and Algeria.

The team has had good preparations, after featuring in and coming second at the Women’s Cecafa Championship in Uganda.

The side won two friendly matches in Morocco against CAK Khenifra (6-1) and Wydad Casablanca (8-1) before losing 1-0 to Cameroon and beating Egypt 1-0 in build up friendly matches in Nairobi.

“At this point I can declare that the team is ready for the competition and I can assure you we are heading there to fight and compete. We will surprise a few people,” the team’s head coach David Ouma said.

Custodians Samantha Akinyi and Vivian Akinyi, plus attackers Mary Kinuthia and Essie Akida are expected to feature prominently for team Kenya in the competition.