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Odemba and Starlets driven by belief as they take on Botswana


NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 5 – Harambee Starlets head coach Beldine Odemba says the team is driven by belief and the desire to make history when they take on Botswana in the second leg of the final qualifier for the 2024 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations.

Starlets play the game off the backdrop of a 1-1 draw from the first leg in Nairobi last week and will need either an outright win or a high scoring draw in Gaborone to qualify for the WAFCON for the second time in their history.

“I believe, the girls believe and I want to ask Kenyans to believe with us. The girls are ready to write a new history. It is said that we have never won away from home but we are ready to do it this time,” Odemba said.

The tactician says training together for the past five days has been crucial for her, especially noting that they had not had a joint full training session with a number of the players before the first leg last Wednesday.

She believes they are ready for the difficult task ahead, and will be in good shape to battle for a win in Gaborone.

Harambee Starlets midfielder Elizabeth Wambui in action during a training session. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu
Harambee Starlets midfielder Elizabeth Wambui in action during a training session. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

“The girls are ready and the team is looking in good shape. We have had some number of sessions together and now we know who can blend with who better as opposed to the first leg. We have improved a lot tactically and also worked on boosting their confidence,” said the coach.

Odemba also says it will be difficult playing at home with an expectedly hostile crowd, but says the team has prepared psychologically to ensure they deal with the aspect.

“We have told them that on the pitch it is 11 vs 11 and they should shut out everything else and just focus on the pitch. I am confident that we will get a good result. We need to defend well, attack well and we will find some goals,” she added.

Starlets’ last qualification to the WAFCON was in Ghana in 2016 and they are keen to quench that thirst.

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