Head Coach Gerald Juma was elated with the brilliant start by the team and remains confident they have what it takes to go all the way and defend their title, despite admitting they are under pressure
The Kenyan Under-18 team started their International Handball Federation (IHF) Trophy Tournament on a winning note, thrashing Djibouti 59-11 on Tuesday evening, while their Under-20 counterparts had a different result, losing 28-25 to Burundi in their opening game.
Head Coach Gerald Juma was elated with the brilliant start by the team and remains confident they have what it takes to go all the way and defend their title, despite admitting they are under pressure to defend the title.
“I am confident we will defend our title because I had the opportunity to watch all the teams and I know they are beatable. But there is always the pressure because teams will come and want to beat you and prove a point but we are ready for that,” said the tactician.
On his side’s performance against Djibouti, the tactician was impressed, as they led 26-2 at the break before further scoring more in the second half.
“We had worked a lot on speed and I was glad to see that in the game and that is why we scored more goals. It is always encouraging to start with a win. However, we need to work a bit on our defense because we noticed some grey lines especially in the second half,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Under-20’s coach Theodosius Ongoro remains optimistic they can bounce back despite suffering a three goal deficit in a see saw game at the Ulinzi Complex. They were tied with the Burundians until two minutes to go when they pulled out to win.
“We will need to go back to the drawing board and pick ourselves up. We have to win the next two matches in the group if we have to get to the knockout phases. What also didn’t work well for us was our efficiency infront of goal especially on penalties. We had chances which should have converted and that lowered our morale a lot,” said the coach.
He also noted that there was some sort of stage fright as this was their first international match together.