Covid-19 has derailed my career, laments ex-Starlets skipper Kinuthia

Former Harambee Starlets captain Mary Kinuthia hopes that the Covid -19 pandemic will end soon so that she can continue with her professional football in Europe. The midfielder who rose from Thika Queens in the Kenyan Women Premier League to playing soccer in IF Dalhem in the Swedish women second division league has seen her career rise by each passing day. Together with her teammate Christine Nafula and Terry Engesha the trio joined Dalhem in 2019 on short contracts after impressing agents in the international qualifier matches. In a phone interview with Citizen Digital, Kinuthia who is at the moment at her Kitale home said she was meant to travel back to Sweden on May 1 but was unable to do so due to the travel restrictions imposed by the Government of Kenya amid the Coronavirus pandemic. “This has been my toughest time in my whole career. I haven’t imagined if the pandemic will cause a lot of havoc as it is now. I have been longing to join my team early this month for training but I can’t due to travel restrictions,” she lamented. “Since our league ended in November last year I have been off the pitch and situation got worse when the pandemic hit the world which forced the new season scheduled earlier to kick off in  April 2020 to be postponed.”
Harambee Starlets deputy skipper, Mary Kinuthia, celebrates scoring in a previous match. PHOTO/Stafford Ondego/
Harambee Starlets deputy skipper, Mary Kinuthia, celebrates scoring in a previous match. PHOTO/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha.
“I have been in touch with the club management since then and at the end of April they told me that I was to travel back for the preparations for the new season once the Swedish government allows sports activities to resume.” Kinuthia, together with Christine defied odds to win the best forward and midfielder accolades last season, having featured for the Swedish side an entire season that began in April and ended in November. “I am now praying for the pandemic to end so that I can go back to the field. I miss training, staying at home is tiresome. I find myself staying without doing anything which I am not used to. Sometimes I do personal training but my hope is that the Government will lift the travel ban so that I can join my teammates in Sweden to prepare for the new season.” The trio – Kinuthia, Nafula and Engesha – have been regulars in the Harambee Starlets squad in recent times, but failed to get a call up ahead of the 2021 Olympic qualifiers alongside other experienced players like Neddy Atieno, Wendy Achieng, Esse Akida and Cherish Avilia.

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