Starlets Coach Ouma bemoans inexperience after Awcon exit

Harambee Starlets head coach David Ouma reacts during their International friendly women match against Cameroon ...
(FILE)Harambee Starlets head coach David Ouma reacts during their International friendly women match against Cameroon at the Safaricom Stadium Kasarani on October 22, 2016. Cameroon won 1-0. Photo/Oliver Ananda/

The Kenya women national team Head Coach David Ouma has pointed to a lack of mental strength needed for the big stage as the reason behind Harambee Starlets’ underwhelming performance at the Africa Women Cup of Nations (Awcon) in Cameroon.

The Starlets slumped to their second 3-1 defeat in as many matches on Wednesday as Mali cut short their debut at the biennial championship and face yet their strongest test on Saturday when they play defending champions Nigeria on Saturday.

The Super Falcons and Ghana are joint leaders of Group B with both on four points although the Black Queens trail on goal difference.

“We had a poor start so it affected our momentum and psychologically we just weren’t strong enough to bounce back. In top tournament competitions like these you cannot afford to set a foot wrong and it is always costly to walk out of a match without at least one point.

“I think my players did not go out of the first match against Ghana at all but maybe this stumble can help us get it right against Nigeria and in future. I didn’t see the calmness and composure shown in our previous matches but as a coach, the essential thing is to maintain my philosophy and stay loyal to our tactics,” Ouma told Citizen Digital.

The former Sofapaka FC Head Coach also bemoaned the absence of key players including Neddy Atieno whom he praised as being a tactical gem and his best player with the ball in the opposition half.

“Missing Atieno, Mwanalima Adam and Enez Mango was definitely a big blow considering the key roles they played in the team. Together with the rest of the team they had formed special partnerships so there absence sort of fragmented the team. It’s only our first time at the tournament so it was always going to be a tall order but I thank all the players who stepped up to the challenge,” he added.

Ouma will lead the Starlets against a team that has almost entirely dominated the continental showpiece, winning nine of its 12 editions as they seek what could only be a consolation result.

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Story By Geoffrey Mwamburi
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