Harambee Starlets coach David Ouma is optimistic as the team prepares for its opening match against Ghana in the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations at the Stade Municipal de Limbe in Cameroon on Sunday.
“We are ready for the big day. The team is confident. We have had excellent preparations. The players are adapting well, despite the high humidity in Limbe. I’m regulating training to ensure the players have enough energy for our first game against Ghana under floodlights on Sunday 7pm. I’m honoured to lead our national team in this competition for the first time.
“We have our targets. I would like to see improvement in each match we play. The mood in the camp is upbeat. We would give our best shot. The players know they have an opportunity to do our country proud and to advance their careers,” said Ouma by telephone from Cameroon.
The Dutch-trained coach said there are no injuries in the team. Thika Queens midfielder Mary Kinuthia, her clubmate Christine Nafula and Spedag FC defender Ann Alouch are expected to play key roles during the clash.
Ghana Black Queens’ coach Yusuf Basigi is also exuding confidence.
Speaking to Daily Nation Sport by phone on Wednesday, Basigi said he expected a competitive game against Kenya.
“I don’t know much about Kenya because I have never watched them play. I have, however, followed their previous results against Algeria, Cameroon and the Cecafa tournament. You can’t underestimate them,” he said.
Kenya and Ghana are in Group B in this eight-team tournament. Defending champions Nigeria and Mali are also in the same group. The teams are eyeing the two semi-final positions.
Ghana have a far better success record compared to Kenya, having previously qualified for the World Cup on three occasions.
The West Africans have also played at the Nations Cup eleven times, and boast of several pros including Florence Dadson (Dayton Dutch Lions, USA), Elizabeth Addo and (Kvansvenisk, Sweden).
Ghana were expected to arrive in Limbe last evening.