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Vihiga Queens enjoy their place in KBC women’s club championship

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Vihiga Queens FC at practice at Kidundu training ground, Vihiga. Vihiga Queens will represent Kenya in the CECAFA Women’s Champions League to be held in July in Nairobi. PIC: COURTESY

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The champions of the women’s soccer league of the Kenya Football Federation Vihiga United, increased their preparations ahead of their participation in the inaugural council of the Council of East and Central African Football Associations, CECAFA, Women’s Champions League.

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Kenya is ready to host the stadium on July 17th-August 1st It will bring together clubs from 11 countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, Rwanda, Burundi, and Zanzibar.

The winner will represent the region at the launch of the 8-team CAF Women’s League in Morocco in November.

Vihiga Queens head coach Alex Alumira will be relying on the team to dominate the league soon saying the championship provides an opportunity for his players to be sought.

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“We want to try as hard as we can because we are confident that if we win the tournament and head to the main event in Morocco, our players will be sought and maybe get contracts to leave the club and this will give the club a chance to continue developing more talent from the ground up,” said Alumira.

Vihiga Queens head coach Alex Alumira has good experience and the team’s unity will depend on the CECAFA Women’s Champions League

Enez Mango, the club’s captain, said that despite the Covid-19 barriers preventing their preparations, they were still following the practice practices developed by their coaches.

Captain of Vihiga Queens Enez Mango.

“As we prepare for the Cecafa Women’s Champions League although the covid barriers have brought challenges that we are not allowed to gather our coaches have prepared a practice routine that we follow to stay fit,” Enez said.

Harambee Starlets striker 19-year-old Gentrix Shikangwa who emerged as the top scorer when the Starlets won the Women’s CECAFA 2019 title, is delighted with his chance to play in the regional tournament.

“I like to get off the bench after reading the game, even the coach would know that if I started I didn’t play well, so I would come as an alternative and follow the coach’s instructions and sometimes I would score one or two goals,” Shikangwa said.

Gentrix Shikangwa hopes to lead Vihiga Queens to the CECAFA Women’s Champions League

Shikangwa who hopes to do business in Europe is grateful for the support he has received from his family in his football career. Shikangwa comes from a sports family and his older sister Jackline Ashiza showed up at Harambee Starlets while her brother Derick Anami played for Zoo Fc of the Kenya Football Federation Premier League.

Vihiga Queens will face 11 other clubs in a battle for tickets to represent the CECAFA region at the launch of the African Women’s Club Championship in Morocco in November.

“My family has been very supportive. I went to high school without paying school fees because it was through football lessons, I would like to play for a football club in England, and I would like to come back and help others as well,” Shikangwa said.

Vihiga Queens has expanded its training at Kidundu Stadiums, although it was done in groups based on 19 COVID barriers which head coach Alumira however said had the potential for success.

“We have to learn in small groups that you can’t reach all aspects of the game. If you train strikers without defenders and then train non-striking defenders, it becomes a challenge to achieve the things you want,” Alumira noted.

Founded in 2014, Vihiga Queens has won the Women’s Premier League title three times.

About the CAF Women’s Champions League

The Caf Women’s Champions League was approved by the Caf Executive Committee in June 2020, and the annual competition is scheduled to start in 2021.

Each of the six CAF Zones will prepare for the qualifiers to decide who will qualify for the eight (8) team competition.

The six qualifying zones are:

Council of South African Football Associations (Cosafa)

Central African Football Confederation (Uniffac)

West African Football Association (Dead) Region A

Zone of the Dead B

Union of North African Football Associations (Unaf)

Council of East and Central African Football Associations (Cecafa)

Six winners from each region will qualify for the tournament, with the national league champion hosted and an additional team (wildcard) making up the final eight.

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