Vihiga Queens coach Alumira says exit of player leaves Shikangwa to shine
Kenyan Women’s Premier League (WPL) champions Vihiga Queens will be looking to fill the gap left by the exit of their forward Cynthia Shilwatso who has since joined Spanish top-flight side, Logrono, on a three-year deal.
However, head coach Alex Alumira is not a worried man and says the side has structured its game to weather such storms.
The tactician argues that Shilwatso’s exit paves way for another club ace, Gentrix Shikangwa, to play in the team’s first eleven, adding that the versatility of his players gives him the confidence that the team’s performance will not be affected by any player’s exit.
“My squad’s depth allowed me to bench Shikangwa and use the trio of Terry Engesha, Topistar Situma and Shilwatso as my first eleven.
We also have Phoebe Awiti who has a wealth of experience and is a utility player. In the absence of Shilwatso, Shikangwa will now be a first choice forward.
I have moved Awiti to central defence and she executes extremely well in that position, despite having played as a winger and midfielder before,” said Alumira.
Additionally, the coach is well aware that the youngster, Shikangwa, will soon be on her way out of the club.
The Form Four student at Wiyeta Girls has had an impressive run with the national team, Harambee Starlets.
In last year’s Cecafa championship, she bagged the golden boot after managing 10 goals as Starlets won their maiden trophy.
“Shikangwa is a very good and versatile player. Her performance at last year’s Olympics qualifiers and Cecafa championship caught the eye of several suitors. I get inquiries about her every so often.
“Were it not for school, she would probably have signed her first professional deal already.
It is a joy to see my players progressing and I am grooming others who would replace the said players within no time,” Alumira added.
In a bid to bolster his squad earlier this year, Alumira had included 16-year old Form One student Sumeiya Hamisi in his roster.
“We have a good rapport with primary and secondary schools around this area and that helps us identify talents at that young age.
“We had kept tabs with Hamisi since she was in class seven but could not include her in the squad due to age restrictions on players featuring in the premier league.
I have about 15 other players who are ready to join the league as soon as they become of age,” Alumira said.