KeWPL: Vihiga Queens pursue maiden title in play-off

Rebecca Magoma

Vihiga Queens will be seeking their maiden title when they face Thika Queens in the 2017 Football Kenya Federation Women Premier League play-off set for December 10 at Camp Toyoyo Grounds.

This will be the second consecutive season that the two sides will meet in the play-off that will determine the champions.

Last season, the sides met but Thika Queens (Zone A) emerged the winners with a 2-0 win over Vihiga Queens (Zone B).

Since its inception in 2014, Vihiga Queens have grown remarkably and this can be seen through their performance in the last three seasons.

After playing at the Division One in 2014, Queens were promoted to the premier league in 2016 with an unbeaten record that thrilled team coach Alex Alumira.

In their first year in the top league, Vihiga Queens finished at the top of Zone B, a performance that earned them a play-off spot with the Zone A leaders Thika Queens.

This year is not different, Vihiga finished at the top of their zone and they will play against Thika who also won their zone in a fixture to determine the champions.

Alumira knows very well what is in store for his charges saying that this time round, they have prepared for the fixture and 90 minutes will determine the winner.

“It’s been a journey. The team is really improving each season and we are in for the title. Last season, the team was inexperienced and that cost us the title but this time round, we have prepared fully. We have experienced players who have done well not only in the national teams but also at the club level,” said Alumira.

The tactician intimated that this will be first match of the season that his team will play with a full strength squad because throughout the season, some players have been away either to the national teams or sitting for their KCSE.

“This will be a tactical match and it will depend on who gets their facts right. The quality of players in both teams is immense and whoever makes fewer mistakes will take the day. Last season, our finishing was found wanting but we have worked on that and we are scoring goals. We have balanced the team,” he said.

Vihiga’s lethal attack will be led by mid-season acquisition from Vihiga Leeds, Terry Engesha who has scored 13 goals from the four matches she has played for the side.

The side also has a boost in the midfield after acquiring the signature of U-20 captain and Harambee Starlets midfielder Corazone Aquino from Soccer Queens in mid-season.

Despite playing two matches in which she scored a single goal, Alumira admitted that the services of Corazone will be paramount for the club.

“Engesha has scored in every match she has played for us, it’s commendable and another added advantage is that she is quick to learn. Corazone is good and adds creativity in the squad. With her, we can change formations at will because she reads and understands the game easily,” he said.

The tactician added that they have been motivated by their male counterparts who emerged National Super League (NSL) champions to earn a spot in the premier league next season.

2017 Squad

Goalkeepers: Winfred Seda, Lilian Awour, Sheila Shabuya, Laura Nanjala

Defenders: Phelistus Kadari, Robai Kebedi, Lilian Adera, Myline Awour, Enez Mango, Euphresia Afwayi, Alice Mideri, Vivian Nasaka

Midfielders: Mourine Ater, Mercy Oginga, Faith Marende, Lindar Choka, Linder Kahenda, Topister Situma, Phoebe Owiti

Strikers; Cythia Shilwasto, Everline Omuronji, Terry Engesha, Winnie Gwatenda, Yvonne Kavere, Corazone Aquino

Technical Bench

Head Coach: Alex Alumira

First Assistant: Staus Olienge

Second Assistance: Boniface Nyamu

Team Manager: Festus Agoya

Kit Manager: Nelton Olule

Photo Credit: Citizen TV

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