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Starlets eye CECAFA after Olympic heartbreak

Harambee Starlets players line up before their Olympic qualification match against Ghana at the Kasarani Stadium on October 8, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 13 – Harambee Starlets touched down in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on Wednesday afternoon, their focus tightly arrowed at bouncing back from the disappointment of exiting the qualification road to next year’s Olympics in Tokyo.

Starlets lost 3-2 on aggregate to Zambia to bow out of the race and head coach David Ouma says they will use that heartbreak as their launching pad to a maiden CECAFA title.

“We must take that disappointment as a motivator for CECAFA. We have to try and redeem ourselves. We have competed well with teams from different regions and now we are a better team. Always when Kenya goes to CECAFA, we are seen as favorites,” Ouma said.

He added; “We have planned ourselves well and hopefully things go well for us and we do well.”

His sentiments are shared by striker Mwanahalima Adam who has vowed they will do their all to come back home with the CECAFA title.

Harambee Starlets players arrive in Dar es Salaam for the CECAFA Women’s Championship

“We have gained so much experience and learnt a lot from the campaign in the Olympic qualifiers. Now that we have missed our target, we will give our all in CECAFA and I want to assure Kenyans that we will do our best not to let them down,” Adam noted.

Ouma says the team has learnt a lot from the seven games they have played this season with a relatively new team of young players, having replenished the squad at the start of the campaign.

He believes this will be the first step in ensuring the team remains competitive for a long time and believes they have made positive steps forward.

“Our performance has shown some development and the strength of the team. Hopefully we can build on from here. I am happy with the learning situation the team has been put through and we have improved from strength to strength,” stated the tactician.

Starlets are looking for an improved performance in Tanzania having finished fourth during the last Championship in Kigali last year. In 2016, the team reached the final, but lost to Tanzania.

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