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Football: Starlets star Shikangawa eyes European clubs after Form Four

FOOTBALL By Washington Onyango | March 8th 2021
Harambee Starlets U-20 forward Jentrix Shikangwa celebrates scoring against Ethiopia during their U20 Women World Cup qualifier return leg match at Kenyatta stadium in Machakos on September 30, 2017. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Harambee Starlets forward Jentrix Shikangwa is confident of turning professional after sitting for her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education later this month.

Speaking during an interview with Standard Sports from her school in Wiyeta, Shikangwa, who was the star player when she inspired Kenya to winning the 2019 Cecafa Senior Women’s Challenge Cup in Tanzania, said she wants to play in Europe.

“My dream is to play in England. I love the country and from stories I have heard, it looks like a beautiful place and country to play football. However, a chance to play in any of the European countries will be gladly accepted,” Shikangwa said.

The 19-year-old scored 10 goals including two in the final to finish as Cecafa’s top scorer and help Kenya win the maiden regional gong in Tanzania two years ago.

Harambee Starlets U-20 forward Jentrix Shikangwa celebrates scoring against Ethiopia during their U20 Women World Cup qualifier return leg match at Kenyatta stadium in Machakos on September 30, 2017.  [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Despite her education and sports life being disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, Shikangwa said she is focusing on her exams first, then football.

“I wake up every day at 5am to train for 30 minutes then go to class. Maintaining physical and mental fitness is very important for me, just as is education. My goal is to pass my exams then plan from there on the next step,” she added.

She was voted the Most Promising Player in the 2019 Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Awards (Soya) after her heroics in Cecafa and the Kenya Women’s Premier League.

Raised in a family of footballers, Shikangwa started playing football in 2014 while in Class Six at Shipalo Primary School having been inspired by her elder sister and former Harambee Starlets defender Jackline Ashitsa.

“Every time my sister would go for her training sessions, I would follow her. I loved watching her play and when she made it to the national team, I wanted to be like her,” said Shikangwa, whose brother Derrick Anami plays for KPL side Zoo Kericho.

She went on to represent the school at the Kenya Primary Schools national games in 2014 where they were knocked out at the regional level.

In 2018, aged 16, Shikangwa scored in her senior national debut in a friendly match against Ethiopia.

 

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