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The midfielder has seen steady growth in her career since earning her first Kenya U20 national call-up as a student

Kenya and EDF Logrono midfielder Cynthia Shilwatso has explained how she clashed with her mother as she chased her football dream.

The Harambee Starlet said that although her father wanted to see her pursue her football vision, her mother always prioritised education over anything else.

“I started playing when I was in Class Four, but my mum always wanted me to concentrate on school. It was always a quarrel when I was out playing,” the Kenyan Women Premier League winner told CafOnline.

“Somehow, I always managed to sneak out and my dad would be the one speaking on my behalf when mum was annoyed.”

Musungu, Shilwatso’ father and the former Thika United player, encouraged the 21-year old who signed a first professional contract with the Spanish side in August.

“He has really played a big role in me being here today and he was always the one encouraging me, correcting me on what I did wrong and trying to help me improve,” Shilwatso said.

“I owe him a lot.”

The midfielder explained how she started engaging in football and how her High School principal teacher helped her continue with the pursuit of her dreams.

“I would play with the boys using a ball made of plastic bags just around the playing fields next to our home,” she added.

“For me, it was a way of enjoying my free time but I knew the talent was there. I would only play with girls’ teams when there was a tournament.

“Esther Apeli [the school principal] was of huge help because she gave me a lot of confidence and self-belief. I went straight into the school team in Form One and from there, I grew and grew.”

Shilwatso was scouted by Vihiga Queens while she was in Form Two, a club she helped win a KWPL title, thereafter.

The Cecafa Women Challenge Cup winner earned her national call-up while a Form Four student as she was drafted in the Kenya U20 side then. It was also in 2017 that she lifted the National School Games title and proceeded to the East Africa Games but they were eliminated in the quarter-finals.

“It was a good experience playing the school games and that is what gave me the good foundation in my career,” she concluded.

“Also, the fact that I played in the league with Vihiga Queens was an added advantage as it gave me more experience.”

Shilwatso is among the players that have signed contracts with foreign clubs after the 2019 Cecafa success.

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September 30, 2020
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