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Kanyi excited with Ouma’s Starlets return

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Harambee Starlets head coach after arriving back to the country from Zambia on Monday, March 26, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 26- David Ouma has returned as the national women football team head coach and Richard Kanyi, the man who had been holding brief after the tactician left, says he is more than excited to have Ouma back.

The former Sofapaka and Posta Rangers tactician led the team to their first ever African Women’s Cup of Nations in 2016 as well as silver in the CECAFA Senior Challenge Women’s Championship before departing for other duties in the federation.

Kanyi took charge of the team last year and led them to a fourth place finish in the COSAFA Women’s Championship where they were an invited side.

Ouma returns to the side just in time as they prepare to face Uganda in the first round of the 2018 African Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) which will be held in Ghana late November.

“David has the experience because he has been there. We are working as a team now because this belongs to Kenyans. It is high time we bring our heads and expertise together to see that this team goes to the AWCON and does well,” the tactician offered.

Ouma joined the team in training last week Monday before they travelled to Zambia for a friendly match against the hosts, winning 3-0.

The Harambee Starlets technical bench huddle together for a photo after arriving back to the country from Zambia on Monday, March 26, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

“I am glad to be back at the team and I bring with me the experience and understanding of being at the AWCON. We would like to continue being among the best teams in Africa and I am hoping we can work together as a team and get this result,” Ouma said.

A new face also joining the technical bench is experienced goalkeeper trainer Iddi Salim.

The win in Zambia was a huge motivator for the team as they prepare for the first leg against Uganda’s She-Cranes next Wednesday in Machakos with the return tie set for April 8.

“It is very motivating for the team because we gained a lot in terms of giving all the players an opportunity and also testing our systems. Winning builds confidence and at the moment, we are somewhere up there,” Kanyi offered.

The team landed back from Zambia on Monday night and headed straight to camp in Machakos with a week of preparation left before they tackle the Ugandans.

Ouma who led Starlets to two wins over the Ugandans during his last tenure believes they will not come in the same side and has urged the team to exercise caution.

Harambee Starlets players walk in at Kasarani Stadium for training.Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

“We don’t expect it easy because definitely Uganda has been working hard since we last played against them. We will take each leg seriously and the good thing is that we are starting at home which will make it a bit more comfortable for us,” Ouma noted.

A win for Kenya over the two legs will earn them a ticket to the second round of qualification where they are scheduled to face Equatorial Guinea. Winning this two-legged tie will earn them a ticket to their second ever AWCON.

“We know how it feels to play at the AWCON and definitely, we will work hard to be there again. It is not easy; we need to work harder in the two qualification matches. But looking at my teammates and how much we have gelled, I am convinced that we have what it takes,” midfielder Corazon Aquino noted.

Meanwhile, Kanyi has disclosed that the team has invested in a sports psychologist to help them build their mental strength ahead of the two games.

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