A positive mood hovers over Namboole, where the ladies national football team Crested Cranes, are conducting their non-residential training ahead of the May 12-20 Cecafa Championships in Kigali, Rwanda.
Memories of a brave display against Kenya in an unsuccessful bid to make it to the Africa Women’s Nations Cup (AWCON) linger on.
There are still thoughts of ‘what could have been’ among the players but the plan is to quickly move on as the 30 summoned players jostle to make it to the list of final 20 that will travel to Kigali.
“We have dropped a few from the last meeting but it is mainly because we need to also give other faces a chance to impress,” coach Faridah Bulega, said.
Fazilah Ikwaput and Ritah Nabbosa, who recently returned from India where they represented Gokulam Kerala for a month, have joined the group alongside Gloria Namakula, Bridget Nabisaalu, Favour Nambatya, Mable Kusaasira, Lillian Mutuuzo and Rhoda Nanziri. There was a recall for Aisha Namukisa.
“Ritah and Fazirah were initially part of the plans (for AWCON) but travelled to India on short notice. We are glad to have them back because they improve the creativity of the team. “Some of the players have improved in the league so we recalled them while others have dropped in form. We are also monitoring a few of the foreign-based players like Jean Sseninde (and Laki Otandeka) and we hope they will join us soon,” Bulega shared.
Damalie Matama, Joyce Nabakooza, Nora Alupo, Gladys Nakitto, Christine Nambirige, Anita Namata and surprisingly Asia Nakibuuka – who led the line twice against Kenya – have been dropped.
Coach Bulega insists some of the dropped individuals might be recalled depending on how they perform at the Post Primary Ball Games in Fort-Portal but that is unlikely given the fact that the Games start on May 5, a day or two before the Crested Cranes report for residential training.