A run of inspiring performances for Harambee Starlets have seen midfielder Corazon Aquino seal a move to Portuguese top tier side Atletico Ouriense, and she has termed it a lifetime opportunity.
The former Gaspo Youth FC player was offered a one-year deal to join the eighth-placed side and speaking to Soka, Aquino expressed gratitude as she turns a new chapter in her football career. A modest Aquino hopes this opens up the doors to her Starlets team mates and more.
“I thank God for this far, I’m so happy and privileged to get this opportunity to play for Atletico Ouriense in Portugal and most of all be the first Kenyan woman to play in the top tier in Portugal. I pray that this sets the trend for others,” she said.
Aquino was a key player in Starlets’ midfield during the 2020 Olympic Games qualifiers. Kenya’s journey and ambitions for the games were cut short at the penultimate stage of the qualifiers, but Aquino had already impressed.
She was spotted in Accra in the game against Ghana as Kenya went on to eliminate the African football powerhouse across the two legs. Her performance was all the Portuguese club’s scouts needed to hand her a contract.
“I never did any trials at the team, they spotted me during our qualifier match in Accra, Ghana. I believe the Olympic Games qualification matches paved the way for most of us.
“We wish to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations this year to continue getting the opportunities for the Starlets as a whole,” she added.
Build on successes
Aquino is the fifth of the current crop of Starlets players to land a deal in abroad after a fine 2019; she hopes the team can build on the successes and lauds the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) for the support dedicated to women football.
“The support from the federation, allowing us to feature in the qualifiers, opened doors for most of us, as you can see last year we had the best performance ever and we are hoping for even better this year,” she concluded.
Aquino leaves with all the blessings from Gaspo Youth, the team she aided finish second in the Kenya Women Premier League (KWPL). She termed her immediate former employers one of the best in the country.