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Starlets in CECAFA Challenge group of death

Harambee Starlets skipper Dorcas Shikobe leads the team out during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification match against Malawi at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on September 1, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 24 – National women’s football team Harambee Starlets find themselves in the group of death for this year’s CECAFA Women’s Senior Challenge to be staged in Tanzania as they have been drawn with Uganda, Ethiopia and Djibouti in Pool B.

Pool A has hosts and defending champions Tanzania, ‘small sisters’ Zanzibar, Burundi and South Sudan for the tournament that kicks off on November 14 at the Chamazi Complex in the outskirts of the capital Dar es Salaam.

Starlets head coach David Ouma has welcomed the challenge of facing some of the tournament’s big guns and believes his side will be ready.

“I know it will be tough but we respect all teams. We have enough experience and we know how to handle every situation in the tournament. For us I believe we will have a better performance than we have had in the previous games,” Ouma told Capital Sport.

The tournament will find Starlets match fit as it will fall just a few days after they face Zambia in the third round of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifiers. The home and away ties are scheduled for between November 4 and 12.

Ouma says that he will call up a huge squad when they start camp next week and CECAFA will offer him a chance to give a few new players an opportunity to show their worth.

Harambee Starlets head coach David Ouma gestures on the bench during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification match against Malawi at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on September 1, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

“For us we want to create as much depth as possible and this will be a great place for us to test new players. We have already built up one solid unit all through the Olympic qualifiers but now we need to ensure we have a bigger group,” stated the tactician.

Starlets open their campaign against Ethiopia on November 15. The two sides have already met in a friendly in Machakos a few weeks ago with Kenya winning 3-2.

During the last CECAFA Championship in Kigali Rwanda, Starlets finished fourth, a huge dip from their performance in the maiden edition in 2016 when they reached the final only losing by a slim 1-0 margin to two time champions Tanzania.

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