National women’s football team, Harambee Starlets will miss the services of reliable midfielder Martha Amunyolete during next week’s Olympics qualifier third round, first leg away in Ghana.
Amunyolete, who turns up for the women’s Premier League side, Trans Nzoia Falcons and is a student at Itigo Girls, is preparing for the national secondary school examination set for later next month.
Speaking during the morning training session at Camp Toyoyo yesterday, Starlets’ assistant coach Jackeline Juma, confirmed the absence of midfielder during the qualifier. She, however, affirmed that they have cover for the position.
“It goes without saying that Amunyolete services will be missed. However, we are aware she is preparing for her examination and in as much as we would have liked her to be here, education is key and we want to wish her all the best ahead of her examination,” said Juma.
She added: “For sure we go into this match as underdogs as our opponents have featured in almost all the available competitions. However, we are not moved and we will be going for away goal before returning home to seal the round. The competition for the 20 slots up for grabs is massive and it will depend on who wants it more. So far, the training is going on well and we can only hope for the best.”
Sharon Kasandi, who turns up for Kayole Starlets, has also given the national team a wide berth as she is also engaged with College assignments.
In the absence of two, the midfield has attracted Elizabeth Wambui, Angachi, Corazone Aquino, Topista Nafula, debutant Hannah Mbithe, Sharon Genitrix Shikangwa and Cynthia Shilwatso.
Mbithe, who plays for the Football Kenya Federation women’s Division One side Limuru Starlets, said she is ready to fight for a starting line up but conceded it will be a tough call considering the stiff competition in the midfield.
“Truth be told, club and national team training is totally different. I know I am disadvantaged considering I am coming from the lower tier. But I am ready to make my presence felt if granted the opportunity. Having been spotted in the lower tier, It means I have something to offer and I will continue to work hard,” said Mbithe who has since received offers from Gaspo.
Kenyans are set to depart to the host nation on October 2 with the tie scheduled two days later. The East Africans, who defeated Malawi in the second round on 5-3 aggregate, will play host to the West Africans on October 8. Both teams played to a 1-1 all draw last year during the International friendly match