What happened to U-21 World Cup She Pearls?

Saturday October 19 2019

Missing in action.  Most of The She Pearls

Missing in action. Most of The She Pearls players who aided Uganda to seventh place at the 2017 U-21 World Cup in Botswana have been denied senior duties. BY ABDUL-NASSER SSEMUGABI.  


With team captains Peace Proscovia and Lilian Ajio opting out of the Africa Netball Championships due to injuries, other sensational players have also missed the continental event that started yesterday at Bellville Velodrome, Cape Town in South Africa.

These include; Rachael Nanyonga, Betty Kizza, Ruth Meeme, Muhayimuna Namuwaya and Sylivia Nanyonga.
According to the Uganda Netball Federation (UNF) president Susan Anek, most team mainstays were side-lined to give a chance to budding talent.
The promising talent in this case would be the U-21 team that came seventh at the Youth World Cup 2017 in Botswana. However most of the players on this youthful team have been overlooked.

Two of these; defender Joan Nampungu and center player Betty Kizza were immediately incorporated into the senior team and have not disappointed, but for this year’s continental event, Kizza has been shelved.
The trio of Shaffie Nalwanja, Irene Eyaru and Fauzia Nakibuule - all defenders from KCCA team have been disappointed at the national team on numerous occasions, before finally breaking through for the ongoing African Netball Championships.

Some players have decided to continue playing for national league clubs as they await their luck at the She Cranes team while others have hated netball.
“UNF invites us for training but in real sense they always know which players they are to take, so instead of wasting my time, I choose not to honour their invitations and only play for my club. Some of our colleagues have quit netball,” said a player who preferred anonymity.

According to She Cranes head coach Rashid Mubiru, it is the netball federation that chooses players to take part in a given tournament.
“We only coach players who are availed to us. So do not ask me why some players are on hold though they are good,” Mubiru said.

We have learnt that the netball federation president has suspended players due to reasons best known to her.
However, she says that team selection has always been done with direction from other federation officials.
“Other players had injuries, we also opted to use our budding talents. We always sit down as UNF to select capable players for national duty,” she said.


Among the un-tapped talent from the U-21 World Cup team include; goal attacker Sharifa Nalukuuma, shooters Zaamu Seera and Kevin Aber, centre player Florence Adunia defenders Janet Adong and Ramula Nakalyango, with wing attacker Joyce Nakibuule.
The She Cranes will today play against Tanzania before facing Kenya tomorrow to complete their group B fixtures

Today’s fixture

11am - Uganda vs. Tanzania
3pm - Uganda vs. Kenya