Coach Juma Saidi saw his girls lose two successive matches over a weekend for the first time this season and says it is a difficult place to be in given how much of a force they’ve have become this season. Juma, overseeing a routine training session with Kisumu All Starlets on Thursday at the Moi Stadium, laments at the turnout of his team, with just about ten girls present for the Thursday training.
Starlets lost 3-2 to Kibera Girls Soccer Academy and 2-1 to Makolanders FC- in both matches, they had led.
”It’s hard to talk about it. But I have to admit our training has been very poor starting with the turnout. This is mainly due to the lack of transport for most of the girls because some come from very far,” he tells Soka when questioned about the slack in performance recently.
Juma further reveals that drop in turnout during training could have a financial bearing as the Kisumu All Starlets side was one motivated by match allowances whenever they traveled for games hence the impressive first-leg performance. At the moment, most of his key players do not even make it to training.
”In football, there’s no shortcut, you have to train. the energy levels of the girls have gone down because some players report on Thursday and only get to train for one day before the matches.
”There’s also some financial setback with the girls in terms of motivation and I believe that has affected their morale. Usually, they get some allowance when going for matches but as a club, lately we haven’t fared well and that explains the slackness in grinding out results,” he adds.
The troubles for the Kisumu based premiership side couldn’t have come at a worse time as currently, their two top strikers in Mercy Air and Bertha Omito are on national duty with the Harambee Starlets. The national team takes on Ethiopia over the weekend in a friendly match and this becomes a huge blow to Juma’s team ahead of the weekend matches.
”We will be missing our two top strikers when we next play and that is another huge blow to the ones we already have. They are with the national team and will take part in an international friendly this weekend,” he laments.
After 20 rounds of matches, Starlets have dropped to position 6 on the 15 team WPL log with 34 points.