Africa-Press – Uganda. After a 20 years absence at the grand continental stage, it is hard to set expectations for the national women’s football team Crested Cranes ahead of the July 2-23 Women Africa Cup of Nations (Wafcon) in Morocco.
The tournament doubles as a 2023 World Cup qualifier, where the top four head straight into the finals in Australia and New Zealand while the fifth and sixth head to the same destination for an inter-continental playoff qualification tournament. The dream for Uganda in Morocco should therefore be to qualify to the knockout stages of Wafcon to put themselves in good stead for a World Cup card.
The only question that lingers on is whether they will be cool headed enough to pull off one of the many possibilities.
“Every Ugandan knows what they want and our aim is to deliver that by playing good football,” Lutalo said at yesterday’s press conference at Fufa House – Mengo, where he named his 26-man squad for the tournament.
Lutalo did not divulge further into what good football means for him and also hesitated in being drawn directly into whether coming out of the group stages or winning the tournament altogether was a target.
However, at the preparatory Cecafa Women Championship that Uganda won over 10 days ago at Fufa Technical Centre – Njeru, Crested Cranes impressed fans with their attack-minded approach to the game.
Going for goals
In naming nine forwards; Fazila Ikwaput, Sandra Nabweteme, Fauzia Najjemba, Margaret Kunihira, Lillian Mutuuzo, Zainah Nandede, Joanita Ainembabazi, plus Viola Nambi and Ritah Kivumbi, who are yet to report to camp, Lutalo is clearly going for goals. “We are in touch with Kivumbi and Nambi and they will join us in camp (in Marrakech), where we shall have about a week of preparations,” Lutalo, who also dropped Juliet Nalukenge, added.
His midfield has Hasifah Nassuna and Shamirah Nalugya as the creative mind. Joan Nabirye is the lead destroyer and has been joined by Cecafa counterparts Riticia Nabbosa, Sheebah Zalwango and Phionah Nabbumba.