Kenya Sevens women's team open their campaign against Maple Leafs of Canada in the Dubai Sevens international tournament starting tomorrow.
Maple leafs are one of the top sides in the event and are expected to push Kenya all the way in the event. Kenya face Tuks Ladies of South Africa in their second match before confronting Swedish Vikings in their third match. They wrap up their preliminary matches against Moscow Region and United Arab Emirates on Saturday.
Coach Kevin Wambua described the pool as tough but said the Kenyan girls were relishing the challenge of facing some of the top sides.
"It's a tough pool as most of the teams are seasoned campaigners. The girls are ready and we are not scared. We actually want to prove our worth in the event," added Wambua.
The team landed in Dubai yesterday morning and conducted a light training session. Skipper Doreen Remour exuded confidence, saying the side had put behind the disappointment of not qualifying for the World Cup.
"We were disappointed after failing to qualifying but I guess we have to put that behind us and concentrate on getting something positive at the this tournament," added Remour.
She said the team has polished the mistakes experienced in the final of the Africa tournament in Rabat against Tunisia. "We have addressed the errors in the final and we expect to have fluidity in attack and organise our defence well," she noted.
She said the team is keen to improve on breakdowns, alongside its support play. "At the international level, you must improve your ruck-play in terms of technique and run good diagnol lines to support the players in attack."
Remour said exposure will be key for the growth of the Kenya women's team. "If we can play more international tournaments, then we can qualify for the next edition of the Sevens World Cup," she said.
The Kenyan team made their debut at the invitational event in 2009, where they lost all their matches but improved in 2010 to make the Cup quarters.
The Lionesses, formed six years ago, are fully aware that a semi-final or final qualification will be extremely significant in their quest for recognition.