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Ouma names 7 debutants for Morocco friendly

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Harambee Starlets players Jackline Akoth and Christine Nafula vie for the ball during a training session on October 12 at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

Harambee Starlets players Jackline Akoth and Christine Nafula vie for the ball during a training session on October 12 at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 12- Harambee Starlets head coach David Ouma has named seven new players including four debutants as the national team heads out to Morocco on Thursday morning for a week-long training camp.

Enez Mango, Doris Onyango and Purity Nyongesa who never made the cut of 20 for the CECAFA Women’s Championship squad have been included for the Morocco trip alongside debutants Janet Moraa from Nyamira Starlets, Pauline Naisi from Vihiga Leeds, Esther Nyandika from Soccer Queens and defender Betha Omita from Wadadia.

The team is scheduled to fly out to Rabat on Thursday morning.

They will play against the national team Atlas Lionesses plus two other top Moroccan clubs in preparation for the African Women Cup of Nations to be played in Cameroon in November.

“It is very important to have these matches because the players need to experience such high level of competition before the Cup of Nations. It will also give us an opportunity to try out different formations and ways of play,” Ouma told Capital Sport.

After the Morocco trip, Starlets are scheduled to play AWCON hosts Cameroon and Egypt at home before finishing off with a trip to Yaounde for a return match against the Indomitable Lionesses.

Among the areas Ouma will be seeking to improve include the attack which he says has been the team’s Achilles heel throughout.

“Defensively I think we are quite okay. The biggest thing we need to concentrate on is our attack. I will also be looking at improving the mental strength of the players because most of the times we don’t play on the same tempo throughout,” Ouma opined.

Starlets are in Group B of the AWCON alongside defending champions Nigeria, Ghana and Mali.

Nigeria has already named their preliminary squad of 30 which includes seven foreign based players led by Arsenal striker Asisat Oshoala.

“It is a tough group and that’s why we want to prepare very well. Our target is to get at least to the semi-final,” Ouma asserted.

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