South Sudan’s Bright Starlets have stepped up preparations for the upcoming Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) qualifier against Harambee Starlets on Wednesday 20, October 2021.
The side is currently training in Nairobi as they prepare a return to continental showpiece.
The second leg of the encounter is set three days later and will be played at Nyayo National Stadium.
The team flew straight from South Africa where they participated in this year’s COSAFA Championships to Nairobi where they have been camping for the past nine days.
A young bubbly squad under the tutelage of South African Shilene Booysen assisted by Kenya’s Florence Adhiambo is banking on competition sharpness from COSAFA and cohesion forged from their camping time to upset Kenya.
” We are not under pressure. The federation has been clear that first we needed a ranking which we got when we played in COSAFA. Now we need to build a team that will compete in CECAFA and Africa in two years time. We are making the right strides on and a win over Kenya will help our course, ” Booysen said.
The Bright Starlets obviously have great insight on their opponents partly because of Adhiambo’s presence in their technical bench and from thorough scouting work.
“We know the pedigree that Kenya has. They are currently CECAFA champions so we are not here to take this game lighting. The girls are still learning and they want to progress but in the process there’s desire to win and that is what the girls have brought to Kenya, ” she added.
South Sudan is making huge strides in football and has so far registered remarkable results in their men’s game, notably frustrating the famed Uganda Cranes. The Bright Starlets are also on course to build a competitive team with full backing of the federation.
“The federation has been good by sending us to COSAFA and then straight here for the game. It is about taking the right steps in the right direction. We will not make it easy for teams and will fight till the last minute. It is good teams are taking notice of the progress we make,” said Booysen.
South Sudan’s head of delegation and federation vice president Charles Ukech reaffirmed commitment to support the team to be very competitive in the next two or three years.
“We are building a team that will be very competitive in the future. The squad is composed of very young players with just four of them above the age of 21.We have a sixteen year old and several other teenagers. As much as we look to the future, the team is also competitive at the moment and cannot be underrated, ” Ukech said.