The Kenya National Women’s Deaf Football team Tuesday intensified their training at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani in Nairobi ahead of the delayed 2021 Summer Deaflympics in Caxias Do Sul, Brazil from May 1 to 15.
The team, alongside athletics (men and women), basketball (men and women), golf (men) and handball (men and women) have been in camp at the same venue since April 1.
In Brazil, the Kenya National Women’s Deaf Football team will face off with the hosts, champions Denmark, Japan and United States in a round robin format.
Speaking to journalists after overseeing the morning training, head coach Ben Bella said his charges are responding well to training and that they will be raring to go by the time the team departs for the Games.
He singled out the defence, as the department they need to spend more hours on ahead of the games.
“Players are responding well to training. It is fortunate they were not training before we came to camp. I believe by the time we are traveling to Brazil, the team will be in good shape.” said coach Bella.
“I will be working on my defense because it is as if I am building a new team compared to the one we had last year. Fortunately, we have good defenders whom we selected in Kakamega early in the year. I believe we will be raring to go by the time the team will be traveling.”
In Brazil, he disclosed that the team might be forced to cope with a small squad of 19 players after some were dropped due to documentation.
Bella said that they had hoped to travel with 22 players from the 35 who made it to the provisional squad following trials held at Bukhungu Stadium in March.
“The greatest challenge has been the documentation of the players because most of those whom we selected in Kakamega were dropped from the squad. We had so much hope with the players. Initially, the rule book said that the edge bracket was open but when we came, we were told that players below 17 years cannot participate in the tournament. We had to readjust with the squad we have,” said the tactician.
Team’s captain Emily Adhiambo said they are training hard, so as to finish within the medal bracket in Brazil “Kenyans should expect trophies from us. What we are working towards is to scoop position one, two or three,” said the Flamingo Deaf Women’s Football club midfielder.
Goalkeeper Aisha Muhamud said they are ready for the Games in Brazil. She exuded confidence that the team will perform well in the global championship.
‘We started our training last week and we are eagerly waiting to go to Brazil and show our potential. I believe we will bring the medals and make our President proud and be invited to the statehouse,” she said.