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Ouma drops five as Starlets resume training

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Harambee Starlets players line up before a CECAFA women's championship match against Burundi on September 13 in Jinja, Uganda. PHOTO/COURTESY
Harambee Starlets players line up before a CECAFA women’s championship match against Burundi on September 13 in Jinja, Uganda. PHOTO/COURTESY

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 7- Harambee Starlets head coach David Ouma has dropped five players from the squad that took part in the CECAFA Women’s Championship and called in four as the team resume training on Friday evening at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani.

The team preparing for its debut at the 2016 African Women’s Cup of Nations in Cameroon is set to play four back-to-back friendly matches ahead of their travel to Limbe where they will play their group matches.

Sharon Aluoch, Terry Ouko, Mercy Achieng, Caroline Kiget and Maureen Ater have all been dropped with forwards Janet Moraa from Nyamira Starlets, Pauline Naisi from Vihiga Leeds, Esther Nyandika  from Soccer Queens and defender Betha Omita from Wadadia called up.

“There is a lot of competition in the team and that is the basis of our team selection. Everybody wants to be in the team and those who don’t work hard enough unfortunately have to pave way. We need to have the strongest team possible going to Cameroon,” Ouma told Capital Sport.

The team is set to play a friendly match against Morocco away in Rabat on October 16 with Ouma also suggesting they will play two other top clubs in the North African country.

They will then play against Cameroon and Egypt both in Nairobi on October 22 and 29 respectively before travelling to Yaounde to play the Nations Cup hosts, Cameroon in a return match on November 6.

“These two games are very important for our preparations because all of them are top teams and they will give us the necessary competition required. Cameroon and Egypt are both playing in the Cup of Nations while Morocco is also a strong opponent. It is important for the girls to experience such high level of competition,” Ouma noted.

Starlets are in a tough group with reigning champions Nigeria, Ghana and Mali and Ouma insists the team has to prepare hard to ensure they get in the least to the semi-finals.

The tactician knows well the expectation on their shoulders but he remains upbeat they will cope and come up with good results.

“It is not easy, we have to accept that. That is why we have come back to camp early and this long period of preparation will help me fine tune things. I am looking mostly at the team’s play in the final third because defensively, I think we are okay,” Ouma noted.

“I have called in three attacking players who I think will help us solve that issue because it is what clearly came up after our experiences in the COTIF tournament in Spain and the CECAFA Championship.”

The Cup of Nations kicks off on November 19 and will run all the way to December 3.

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