Starlets Aquino joins Portuguese top tier team

By Rodgers Eshitemi: Friday, January 24th 2020 at 07:30 GMT +3 | Football
Harambee Starlets Odhiambo Vivian Corazone Aquino against Algeria during CAF women Africa cup of nation qualifiers at Kasarani Stadium on Tuesday 12/04/16. [PHOTO.BONIFACE OKENDO]

Kenyan international Corazon Aquino has described her move to Portuguese top tier side Atletico Ouriense as a dream come true.

The 21-year-old Gaspo Youth FC midfielder was due to depart for Portugal this morning (5 am) to complete her eagerly awaited transfer to the eighth-placed side.

Aquino, who had unsuccessful three-month trials with Swedish outfit FC Rosengard in 2018, played a vital role in Harambee Starlets’ successful campaign last season.

Despite missing out on a ticket to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games by a whisker after losing 1-0 (3-2) on aggregate to Zambia’s Shepolopolo in the penultimate round of the qualifiers, Starlets gave a good account of themselves on continental scene.

And they went on to redeem themselves by lifting maiden Cecafa Championship title in Tanzania after seeing off holders and hosts Kilimanjaro Queens 2-0 in the final.

Even as Aquino becomes the fifth Starlets’ players to be land on a deal abroad, the Olympic High School alumnus believes last year’s ‘golden generations’ performance will continue to change fortunes in what appears to be a new dawn for the women’s football.

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Eldoret Falcons duo of goalkeeper Annette Kundu and defender Ruth Ingotsi recently signed a three year deal with Cyprus outfit Lakatamia FC.

Diminutive Thika Queens forward Mwanalima Adam is set to travel to Sweden for trials at Club Djurgardens IF, while Vihiga Queens midfielder Cynthia Shilwatso has been offered a three year deal by Spanish top tier side EDF Logrono.

“It has been one of my dreams to play in Europe. I tried out in Sweden, but I wasn’t successful. The joy about this deal is that I have not had to go through the trials’ hustle again. It is a done deal. I can’t wait to join my new teammates, it’s going to be an amazing experience,” Aquino told Standard Sports.

The former Vihiga Queens midfielder added: “Honestly speaking, I’m not surprised with how we are suddenly attracting interest from European clubs. Definitely, I expected last year’s impressive performance to open doors for us to go abroad. This is just but a start of good things to come.”

“With all these great moves to competitive league, we expect to have a great impact on our national team’s performance. It’s a historical move for me because I will be the first Kenyan to play in the Portuguese top tier.”

Aquino’s former Vihiga Queens teammate, Shilwatso is equally excited of her impending move to EDF Logrono.

“I’m more than excited to have secured a deal in Spain. I will give my best to open doors to more Kenyans. I’m still around, but will be leaving for Spain in the coming fe weeks,” said Shilwatso.



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