Nick Mwendwa: Harambee Starlets to play two friendly matches before Awcon

Goal Kenya.
Harambee Starlets have been pooled in Group B of the 2018 Awcon competition to be staged in Ghana from November 17

Football Kenya Federation have confirmed that Harambee Starlets will play friendly matches before they head to Ghana for the Awcon finals.

FKF President Nick Mwendwa has revealed that the David Ouma coached side will play one friendly in Uganda and one against Ghana before they depart for Accra ahead of the tournament that will kick-off on November 17.

Starlets have been pooled in a tough Group B alongside defending champions Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia. Kenya will open their campaign with a clash against Zambia on November 18, then face South Africa on November 21 before winding up their preliminary matches against Nigeria on November 24.

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And with time running out, Mwendwa believes the two build up matches will help coach Ouma to gauge his squad before the competition. “We want the team to proceed to camp on Monday (October 29) and we have also set up two build up duels against Uganda and Ghana,” Mwendwa told Goal in an interview.

Kenya took part in the last edition held in Cameroon, where they, crashed out in preliminary stages. Nigeria, in particular, handed Kenya a 4-0 defeat, having lost the opener 3-1 to Ghana and another identical scoreline defeat by Mali.

However, coach Ouma is eying at least a point from the Super Falcon when they clash in the final Group match of this year's competition.

“I’m not focusing on Nigeria alone because if you look at the tournament, we have, like the top six African countries there, so basically every team is a worthy opponent. But I believe that with extensive preparation and a proper mindset, we can pick at least a point from each team,” he told Goal separately.

Equatorial Guinea, who were champions in 2008 and 2012, will not play at this year's competition after being disqualified for fielding an ineligible player during their qualifying victory over Kenya.