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We are 85 percent ready for AWCON-Starlets

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Doreen Nabwire (third right standing) made her return to the national team for the first time since 2012. PHOTO/COURTESY

Doreen Nabwire (third right standing) made her return to the national team for the first time since 2012. PHOTO/COURTESY

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 22- With 28 days remaining to the African Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON), Harambee Starlets team manager Doreen Nabwire says the squad is 85 percent ready to make their debut at the continental showdown slated for November in Cameroon.

Speaking to Capital Sport after the team returned from a 10-day training camp in Morocco, Nabwire says they will use the remaining days of training to work on their game plan for the tournament.

“We are almost there and we only need to work on our game plan. The team synergy is now better than what it was during the qualifiers,” Nabwire stated.

Starlets started off their preparations at the week-long COTIF tournament in Spain where they finished fourth before heading to the CECAFA Women’s Championship last month, losing out to Tanzania in the final.

“Looking at how we played in Morocco and comparing to COTIF and CECAFA, there is massive improvement. There is a bond in the team and this is a mark for any successful team,” she added.

Starlets played two friendly matches in Morocco, winning 8-1 against Wydad Cassablanca and 6-1 against CA Khanfira.

Doreen Nabwire returned to the national women's football team, Harambee Starlets for the first time since 2012, playing for 68 minutes in their 4-0 triumph over hosts Uganda in Cecafa opener. PHOTO/ Julia Wanjeri (JW Sports)

Doreen Nabwire returned to the national women’s football team, Harambee Starlets for the first time since 2012, playing for 68 minutes in their 4-0 triumph over hosts Uganda in Cecafa opener. PHOTO/ Julia Wanjeri (JW Sports)

Nabwire noted that playing and training in a different environment was vital as part of their preparation and says the two games gave the technical bench an opportunity to gauge each player.

 “There is so much competition and everyone is hungry to get into the team. The new players we called up have worked hard and I know it is going to be a huge challenge next month to select the final team.”

Starlets play AWCON hosts Cameroon in a friendly match on Saturday evening as they gear up towards the tournament with another build-match against Egypt October 29 and a final one against Cameroon again in Yaounde.

“It was very important for us to play at least two sides going to be at the Cup of Nations to give us a feel of what to expect. It was also very important to play a West African country because we are facing West African opponents in our group,” Nabwire explained.

Kenya is drawn in Group B alongside reigning champions Nigeria, Mali and Ghana while hosts Cameroon headline Group A which also has Egypt, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Starlets, who have a target of reaching the semi-finals, will play its group matches in the town of Limbe and begin their campaign against Ghana November 20.

They face Mali three days later before completing their group campaign against Nigeria November 26.

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