Uganda Crested Cranes U-17 national team coach Ayub Khalifah was labelled special after guiding the side to victory at the inaugural COSAFA U-17 tournament in Mauritius.
The CECAFA region will also be holding their respective U-17 girl’s tournament, for the first time as well from the 9th – 21st in Kampala, Uganda.
Following their success in Mauritius around three months ago, it is a no brainer that Uganda will be odd on favourite to scoop the title.
And Khalifah acknowledges that his side should be buoyant ahead of the tournament especially on home soil, but worries that the weight of expectation could pose the biggest challenge to his team.
“The whole nation expects nothing less than victory. It will be a very big disappointment to the team and the nation at large if we do not register success,” Ayub Khalifah told Football-256.
“That for me is the biggest test, but we have enough experience and quality within the team to emerge victorious.”
“The team tested the sweetness of being champions and have played as a unit before. We just have to prove our worth to the natives, and hopefully backing for a repeat of our performances in Mauritius,” Khalifan added.
Uganda have been drawn in Group A alongside Ethiopia, Eritrea and South Sudan. The U-17 side get preparations for the tournament underway on Monday 2nd December at the FUFA Technical Center. 30 players have been summoned for preparations ahead of the tournament.
Twenty three of those were part of the team that won the COSAFA, Captain Juliet Nalukenge, Margret Kunihira and Fauzia Najjemba headlining the list.
While seven players are in line of making their debuts, these include; Gloria Namugerwa, Brenda Munyana, Mercy Amoding, Immaculate Odalu, Nasabu Nakate and Gombe SS Lydia Mirembe and goalkeeper Zulaita Ngamita.
The Crested Cranes U-17 summoned Squad:
Juliet Nalukenge (Kawempe Muslim SS) Fauzia Najjemba (Mukono High School), Margret Kunihira (Kawempe Muslim), Daphine Nyayenga (Uganda Martyrs HS), Joan Namusisi (Mukono HS), Nasasira Gift (Gadafi Integrated HS), Stella Musibika (Kawempe Muslim), Patricia Akiror (Masaka SS), Gillian Akadinda (Olila HS), Samalie Nakacwa (Kawempe Muslim), Precious Atwiine (Upper Hill Col), Cissy Kabarwani (King of Kings), Shakira Nyinagahirwa (Kawempe Muslim), Kevin Nakacwa (Uganda Martyrs HS), Zaitun Namaganda (Tagy HS), Moureen Nangozi (Mukono HS), Bira Nadunga (Olila HS), Summaya Komuntale (King of Kings), Hadijah Nandago (Kawempe Muslim SS), Catherine Nagadya (Uganda Martyrs) Esther Adokole (Amus College), Zaina Nadede (Amus College), Gloria Namugerwa (Uganda Martyrs HS), Brenda Munyana (Uganda Martyrs HS), Mercy Amoding (Mukono Bishops), Immaculate Odalu (Mukono HS), Nasabu Nakate (Rines HS), Lydia Mirembe (Gombe SS), Zulaika Ngamita (Gombe SS).
Head Coach: Ayub Khalifah