• Lakhani guided the rookies to the finals of the inaugural Cecafa tournament held last weekend in Eritrea losing 4-0 to Uganda.
• The tournament, which was introduced from Cecafa’s last Annual General Meeting, is meant shape teams from East African physically to match the burly West and North Africans.
The Kenya national U-15 Junior Stars team head coach Sagar Lakhani has challenged the playing unit to adapt to various tactical approaches ahead of next year’s 2021 U-17 African Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Lakhani guided the rookies to the final of the inaugural Cecafa tournament held last weekend in Eritrea, losing 4-0 to Uganda.
The tournament, which was introduced from Cecafa’s last Annual General Meeting, is meant shape teams from East African physically to match the burly West and North Africans.
Lakhani, who worked with former Harambee Stars goalkeeper Jeremy Onyango, in tutoring the boys singled out mental strength and ability to grasp different tactics as the areas to work on before the qualifiers.
He revealed his plan of playing against opponents drawn from a high age bracket as a way of shaping up the boys for the qualifiers which will also serve as U-17 World Cup qualifiers.
He said: "We learnt a lot from the loss to Uganda. For sure, we have to improve both our tactics and the players mindset so that they can understand to play under different circumstances. I think we have to do the best we can with environmental conditions and resources available"
"One of the things we will continue doing is playing older teams because that experience has really helped us. In as much as we are preparing for Afcon, we are moulding boys to be footballers of the highest calibre. Afcon is just another step of the journey; it is not the final destination so training hard continues.”
The tactician confirmed that he will stick with the players who bagged silver in Eritrea for the qualifiers. The current team was constituted two years ago as the national U-13 side.
"We are going to maintain the same team. We do not need to bring older guys in our quest to qualify.”