Kenya: Junior Starlets Ready to Challenge for First Ever U17 World Cup Slot

Nairobi — National Under-17 girls team, the Junior Starlets, have vowed to give their best in the chase for a first ever World Cup qualification as they prepare to take on DR Congo in the first leg of the first round qualifier in Lubumbashi this weekend.

The team has been in residential camp in Nairobi for the past one week and is expected to fly out on Friday, with the game penciled for Sunday afternoon.

Head coach Mildred Cheche believes the team has done well in training and is ready for the challenge ahead.

“We have been working well in training over the past week and the girls are really psyched up. They have come from different schools and each has brought in their A game,” the tactician stated.

She added; “Most have been active in the school games, the Chapa Dimba tournament and the recently concluded Talanta Hela tournament and so they are all match ready, We just need to polish a few areas to get the best out of them.”

The tactician has had a group of 26 players in camp and believes she has the best arsenal at her disposal to plot a good downfall for the Congolese.

Kenya plays the first leg in Lubumbashi before hosting the return tie in Nairobi the following weekend.

They seek to go one better than their Under-20 counterparts whose journey to the World Cup came to an end in the second round. For Cheche, who was part of the U20 technical bench, she believes they can battle to the end.

Meanwhile, defender Elizabeth Ochake says the girls are ready to take on the World Cup dream.

“We have been training well, listening to the instructions from our coaches and everyone is focused on doing well. We know that we are going for a tough game and we want to do well,” Ochake said.

Victory for Kenya’s Junior Starlets will take them into the second round, where a date against either South Africa or Ethiopia awaits.

There are four rounds of qualification to the World Cup, and only three teams will earn the ticket to represent the continent at the final tournament in the Dominican Republic in October.

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