A 29-man contingent featuring 20 players and nine officials has departed Entebbe international for Port Luis, Mauritius where they will take part in the inaugural Council of Southern African football Associations (COSAFA) U-17 women tournament.
Women football in Uganda has taken huge strides since the national team played its first game in 1994, against Kenya.
FUFA has put emphasis on developing the game in the country. And the U-17 age bracket has been fundamental to development of the game with some of the current Crested Cranes coming through from the age group.
In 2013, the team took part in their first international tournament, the Airtel rising stars African Championships in Nigeria, where they emerged fourth with players like Namutosi Agnes and Lilian Akello all featuring in that team.
The team has been rather silent, with few opportunities to take part in international tournaments. The 2019 COSAFA tournament, presents another chance to the budding youngsters of the women game to kick start their careers.
Despite little exposure on the international scene, there is a huge potential and talent in the current U-17 crop.
Skipper Juliet Nalukenge, believes they have enough quality and have had the right preparation to take on the best in the Southern hemisphere.
And as they departed for Mauritius, Nalukenge sounded full of vigor, declaring that they will settle for nothing less than victory in the tournament.
“We have prepared well for this tournament well, since we have been in camp for the last ten days,” Nalukenge told media before departure.
“We are ready to lift our country during the event. Personally, I am very confident that I will score more goals and I can only assure fellow Ugandans victory.” Nalukenge declared.
Uganda who were invited as guests for the tournament, is pitted in group A alongside hosts Mauritius, Zambia and Comoros.
The girl’s team under the stewardship of Ayub Khalifah, will play Zambia this Friday in their opener at Francois Xavier Stadium before facing off with Mauritius and Comoros on 22nd and 24 September respectively.
The Traveling delegation:
Goalkeepers: Daphine Nyayenga (Uganda Martyrs HS), Joan Namusisi (Mukono HS), and Gift Nasasira (Gadafi Integrated)
Defenders: Gillian Akadinda (Olila HS), Patricia Akiror (Masaka SS), Stella Musibika (Kawempe Muslim SS), Precious Atwine (Up Hill College), Bira Nadunga (Olila HS), and Cissy Kabarwani (King of Kings).
Midfielders: Kevin Nakacwa (Uganda Martyrs), Samali Nakacwa (Kawempe Muslim SS), Zaitun Namaganda (Taggy HS), Maureen Nangonzi (Mukono HS), Sumayah Komuntale (King of Kings), Margret Kunihira (Kawempe Muslim SS).
Forwards: Shakira Nyinagahirwa (Kawempe Muslim SS), Juliet Nalukenge (Captain – Kawempe MuslimSS), Fauzia Najjemba (Mukono HS), Catherine Nagadya (Katuuso Community SS) and Hadijah Nandago (Kawempe Muslim SS).
Head Coach: Ayub Khalifah
Assistant Coach: Hadijjah Namuyanja