Newly promoted Kisumu All Stars are quickly learning the ropes in the top tier Kenyan Premier League and are looking forward to being a competitive outfit that will survive playing at this elevated level.
They face KCB in Machakos this weekend in their second match padded with lessons from their opening match.
After losing 0-2 to Ulinzi Stars in Kisumu in that match, All Stars, fondly known as "The Blue Eagles" feel that much the wiser.
Their coach Henry Omino, who is on a one-year contract, said the team was headed for better times after working on the players' "mental strength".
"Our last match was good and the players displayed good football. The key problem was the lack of confidence.
During the first half of the match we managed to contain Ulinzi, so the quick scores in the early minutes of the second half disoriented my players who just gave up the fight," said Omino.
He revealed that the players are now more confident and are looking for nothing less than a win in Machakos.
"We want to get the three points so a draw and a loss is not an option for us. We will be looking for an early goal and then hope to contain KCB whom we respect very much," he said.
Speaking to Nation Sport, he revealed that they would be going for a top half finish on the league table despite being newbies at this level.
"All Stars are equal to the challenge and we are ready to take on the league's top sides. We aim to finish in the top 10 this season."
Kisumu All Stars can get encouraged from Sofapaka's stirring run in the 2009 Premier League that they won featuring in their debut season.
All Stars earned a promotion to KPL after finishing second on 80 points in the National Super League, behind Wazito who topped the standing on 83 points.
The Blue Eagles recruited 13 new players while offloading 10. Kisumu Minister of Sports Achie Alai has assured All Stars of support.
"The team is in great shape, and we are looking forward to a great performance in the league. I am very optimistic of a win against KCB and we are providing the team with all the support it needs," she said.
Kisumu All Stars' upcoming fixtures:
KCB v Kisumu All Stars (Saturday, Kenyatta Stadium)
Kisumu All Stars v Nzoia Sugar (Sept 21, Moi Stadium)
Kisumu All Stars v Western Stima (Sept 28, Moi Stadium)