Juma lauds Kisumu trio after national team call-up

Kisumu All Starlets have for the first time produced three players at once for the national team Harambee Starlets for the team’s upcoming 2020 Olympics Qualifier against Malawi.

The three, Bertha Omita, Mercy Airo, and Cynthia Achieng are expected to report to Starlets’ camp alongside 36 others on Sunday 14th in preparations for the first leg of the qualifier which has been slated for August 28, 2019.

Playing under coach Juma Saidi in the Kenya Women’s Premier League, the trio exhibited excitement at the call, terming it a huge morale boost even for their club side which has performed exceptionally in the first half of the league.

Speaking to Soka during a Friday 12th training session, Omita- who has been in the national team before, believes the experience that comes with training with the national team is one of a kind, and they look forward to making the most out of it.

Omita has been to the national team before [IMAGE- Fabian Odhiambo]

”Training at the national team is always intense and one always feels they are fit even if you don’t make the final squad. When you come back to your club and tell of the experience there, that’s a morale boost to your teammates,” she says.

Mercy Airo on her part has only been called up to the junior sides and will be at the senior level for the first time. A Chapa Dimba na Safaricom national champion with Plateau Queens, the 19-year-old looks at the difference they mad eat All Starlets this season.

Airo hopes Kisumu All Starlets will add more numbers to the national team in future [IMAGE- Fabian Odhiambo]

”We’ve trained hard as a team, and that’s why things have changed a bit. Going three to the national team means we can always add more numbers if we work even harder,” contributes Airo who currently leads the KWPL top scorers’ chart.

Their coach, Juma Saidi, on his part attributes everything to discipline, giving a special mention to new call-up Cynthia.

”It’s a plus to the team, not a privilege as everything as come as a result of hard work. I always told Cynthia that hard work always pays and I hope she will translate her club form to the national team and help he country,” says Juma whose team travels to Kitale over the weekend as the KWPL resumes.

The first leg of the international encounter has been slated for August 28, 2019, and the second leg on September 1, 2019. Should the Harambee Starlets overcome Malawi, they will have either of Gabon or Ghana in their way in the third round.