• U-20 Harambee Starlets confident of win in Tunisia

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Apr 11, 2012-

A confident national women Under 20 football team departed this afternoon for Tunisia for the return leg of the penultimate round of the World Cup qualifiers.

The Harambee Starlets got a shot in the arm after receiving a Sh 200,000 donation from the National Youth Academy with Internal Security Minister, George Saitoti giving Ksh. 50, 000 and an equal amount from the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) chairman, Sam Nyamweya, .

The financial boost lifted the spirit of the Kenyan girls who suffered an ominous 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Carthage Eaglets two weeks ago in Nairobi.

However, Florence Adhiambo’s side has confounded critics with a fairy tale run that has taken them on the verge of becoming the first Kenyan team to qualify for the world showpiece event. Should Kenya turn the tables on Tunisia, the team will meet with the winners between continental giants Ghana and South Africa with a ticket for the World Cup, which will be held later this year, in Japan at stake.

The travelling party includes 17 players and 5 officials. Meanwhile, Mathare United coach Stanley Okumbi is elated with his elevation as the new Under 20 national team coach. The young coach said his immediate task is to shape the team into a winning outfit.

“I am very happy with my appointment. It shows that federation has great confidence in me”, said Okumbi, whose first task will be in May in a friendly invitational tournament in South Africa.

Like previous coaches of the national senior side, Harambee Stars, Okumbi will have to contend with the tricky business of juggling club and national duty.

But the coach who on Saturday engineered his first win in the Kenyan Premier League since his appointment remained upbeat over his team’s now found confidence after the 2-1 win over Muhoroni Youth.

“At the moment, my priority is on our next match in the league against Tusker. When I took over a couple of days ago, the confidence level in the team was very low.

But I am glad we’ve gotten back our groove. We must be ready to slug it out with the big boys if we are to finish in a good position”, he said.

Nesta Kizito

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