• Okere was part of the technical bench that led Vihiga Queens to the Cecafa Club Champions League two weeks ago.
• "It's important we start with a win. Our intention is to qualify for the Worl Cup in Costa Rica next year," said captain Eunice Mwangi
Even though Rising Starlets are banking on home advantage, mental toughness will be key when the juniors take on Uganda in a Fifa Under-20 World Cup qualifier against Uganda at Nyayo Stadium on Saturday, coach Charles Okere has said.
Okere, who doubles up as the Harambee Starlets gaffer, hinted that the technical bench has been sharpening the players' psychological aspect of their game. He expects his charges to play with a relaxed mind, cognisant of the importance of the match dubbed 'Migingo derby'.
"It's a real chance for our Rising Starlets to showcase their talent and playing at home should give us an edge," Okere said.
"We have had mental training for these players because some of them will be playing at the highest stage for the first time and they need to be mentally sharp."
"They know how important the match is even as the rivalry is rekindled. Uganda is a good team, we respect them but we don't fear them. Hopefully, the girls will be able to overcome stage fright and produce good results."
Okere was part of the technical bench that led Vihiga Queens to the Cecafa Club Champions League two weeks ago. He noted that Vihiga set the bar high and the juniors need to take inspiration from this. Despite starting with a 4-2 loss to CBE of Ethiopia, they won the final against the same team.
"Vihiga raised the bar and the girls will have to emulate and players like Jentrix Shikangwa are obvious role models. Football is about win, draw or loss but any coach would be happy to have a win," he said.
Okere believes few of the juniors can slot into the Harambee Starlets squad since they have shown maturity beyond their age.
"We have like three players who can slot straight into the senior team. We will give them a chance when that time comes," he said.
Eunice Mwangi, who will captain the side, said there's much to play for on Saturday.
"It's important we start with a win. Our intention is to qualify for the Worl Cup in Costa Rica next year," she said.
The second leg will be played in Uganda on October 8. The overall winner over the two-legged tie will face the winner of the second-round match pitting Mozambique against South Africa.