•Rising Starlets bowed out of the 2024 Fifa World Cup qualifiers, where they lost on a 6-2 aggregate against Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon.
•Undeterred by the recent defeat, Odemba emphasizes the need for continuity and ambitions beyond the World Cup.
Rising Starlets head coach Beldine Odemba remains resolute despite World Cup qualifiers exit and has expressed hope of retaining her talented team for future competitions.
Rising Starlets bowed out of the 2024 Fifa World Cup qualifiers, where they lost on a 6-2 aggregate against Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon.
Undeterred by the recent defeat, Odemba emphasizes the need for continuity and ambitions beyond the World Cup.
“The loss to Cameroon should not be the end of the road for us. These girls are incredibly talented, and I am optimistic they will stay together and pursue more competitions,” said Odemba.
Kenya went into the match having already suffered a 3-0 defeat in the first-leg tie held in Yaoundé on November 11.
Cameroon beat Rising Starlets 3-2 at the Nyayo National Stadium thus progressing to the final round of the 2024 Fifa World Cup qualifiers.
The tactician was emphatic that the midfield needed a total rebuild.
“Fasilah Adhiambo did not play yesterday because she got two yellows. That is why she was not able to play in this match. In the other matches you have seen, she has done well, and we missed her services in the midfield. We need to rebuild that space to avoid such problems in the future,” she said.
Odemba, who also coaches the senior team Harambee Starlets, highlighted the scarcity of competitions for younger teams in Africa.
“I was in Morocco some weeks ago and their women’s U23 team are in residential training despite not having major assignments. Imagine; they are training for friendlies because there are no major tournaments,” she revealed.
“In Africa, we do not have any competition for the U20s. We should have such structures and bring more tournaments to nurture these young players,” she added. The gaffer also added physique and nutrition programs should be implemented in training.
“We have an issue of physique because when you look at our games, the opponents are much stronger. Nutrition is very important for our players. It’s something we need to adopt in our women’s football team,” said Odemba.
While acknowledging talent scouting challenges due to age restrictions in local leagues, Odemba revealed ongoing discussions with the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) management to modify these restrictions. “We’re actively working on plans for Under-15 and U-18 teams in line with our motto of nurturing talent,” she said.