Snubbed Starlets duo win accolades abroad

Wednesday March 18 2020

From left: Harambee Starlets striker Esse Akida, Ann Aluoch and captain Mary Kinuthia show off their runners up medals upon arrival at JKIA on September 21, 2016 upon arrival from Uganda where they took part in the Cecafa Women Championship. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |


Having been overlooked by the national women’s football team technical bench ahead of the ongoing Olympics Qualifier, Christine Nafula and Mary Kinuthia defied odds to win the best forward and midfield accolades at the Swedish women second division side Dalhem IF Awards ceremony on Saturday.

The two have featured for the Swedish side the whole season that began in April and ended last month.

Nafula and Kinuthia have been regulars in the Harambee Starlets squad in recent time, but failed to get a call up ahead of the qualifiers alongside other experienced players including Neddy Atieno, Wendy Achieng, Esse Akida and Cherish Avilia.

Nafula, who bagged the best forward award said although the awards were done in their absentia, she felt honoured.

The Gaspo player said she wouldn’t mind renewing the contract with the club next season.

I didn't win the award, 'we' the whole team did! For you to score a goal the ball has to come from someone, so this award might have my name on it, but that name below it (Dalhem IF) is the true champ. We did it together as a team and I’m so proud to be part of this great unit,” said Nafula.

Asked if she harbours hard feelings after the snub by the Starlets technical bench, the forward said, “Not really. In fact, I’m so proud of the team, majority of the players in the players are young and sometimes one might have stage fright but the kind of determination they have is top class. I pray they win on Monday against Zambia and I will be cheering them on for the 90."

Starlets play Zambia on Monday in the return leg of the fourth round of the qualifier having played to a 2-2 all draw on Friday at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Nafula at the same time threw a jibe at the Kenyan Women's Premier League organisers saying, “The Swedish league is consistent and once the fixture is out, its duly followed and the only thing that can change is time and nothing else, no walkovers no nothing and this makes everything easy plus you can prepare well so as not to be caught off-guard."

She continued: “Our league is good and there is good competition but there is no consistency, lot of walkovers shows there is no seriousness in the league.