What you need to know:
- Okere will be in charge of the junior national team against the tricky neighbours who jetted into the country on Thursday
- Okere told Nation Sport that despite the Rising Starlets players having no experience at international level, they have impressed the technical bench with their skills, discipline and knowledge of the game
- Rising Starlets captain Eunice Mwangi, who also turns up for Division One side Mathare United, said they will be going for a win despite having little time to prepare
Kenya's Rising Starlets head coach Charles Okere is confident of a good result in the second round Fifa 2022 under-20 World Cup Qualifier first leg against Uganda on Saturday at Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi.
Okere, who is fresh from guiding Vihiga Queens to the inaugural Caf Champions League after winning the Cecafa Club Championship in Nairobi, will be in charge of the junior national team against the tricky neighbours who jetted into the country on Thursday.
The second leg is set for October 8 in Kampala.
"Getting Vihiga Queens to qualify for the inaugural Caf Women's Champions League set the bar high not only for myself but also the young starlets who are not just in the national team for the first time but also featuring in one of the most significant competitions in their football careers.
"It's definitely added pressure for all of us because women's football is now back in the spotlight and just like our fans we expect an entertaining game when we face Uganda and hope to emerge victorious in both legs," said Okere after their final training session on Friday at Nyayo Stadium.
Okere, who also heads the national women's football team, Harambee Starlets, was appointed as interim coach for Vihiga Queens after their long-serving coach Alex Alumirah parted ways with the club just one week to the regional qualifiers.
Under Okere and his assistant Boniface Nyamunyamu, Vihiga Queens beat Commercial Bank of Ethiopia 2-1 in the final staged at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani to qualify.
Okere told Nation Sport that despite the Rising Starlets players having no experience at international level, they have impressed the technical bench with their skills, discipline and knowledge of the game.
He is optimistic that these factors will yield a win in the first leg against Uganda on Saturday.
Rising Starlets captain Eunice Mwangi, who also turns up for Division One side Mathare United, said they will be going for a win despite having little time to prepare.
"When the team started training it was really awkward for most of us because this is the first time we have been put together from different clubs and schools. The first few days of training were difficult even for the coaches because we didn't seem to gel as we are supposed to. But after almost a week of training together, we now understand each other.
"As aspiring pro players we know that historically Kenya and Uganda have always had intense rivalry but we are ready. We have prepared both physically and mentally so they should not expect to easily break us," said Mwangi.
The aggregate winner will face the winner between Mozambique and South Africa in the third round.
Only two teams from Africa will qualify for the World Cup after the five qualifying rounds.
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Fasila Adhiambo (Dagoretti Mix), Elizabeth Muteshi (Nangili Girls), Sylvia Makungu (Acakoro), Shirlyne Opisa (Wiyeta Girls), Charity Midewa (Madira Girls), Joy Kinglady (Zetech Sparks), Catherine Kizito (Kolwa Falcons)