Khalifan wants dedicated programs for U-17 winners

Friday October 4 2019

Champions. Uganda’s U-17 girls’ national team

Champions. Uganda’s U-17 girls’ national team that won the Cosafa age-grade championships in Mauritius . courtesy photo  

By MAKHTUM MUZIRANSA

Fufa have a dream of becoming the best footballing nation on the continent.

And the recent triumph of the U-17 girls’ national team at the Cosafa age-grade championships that climaxed Sunday in Mauritius, shows there is a solid foundation on which the federation can build this dream – at least for women’s football.

But the triumphant team’s coach Ayub Khalifan, is not getting carried away just yet.

“By beating a good team like South Africa, we have set a standard we cannot drop,” Khalifan told Daily Monitor before the team returned from Mauritius on Tuesday.

“Now we need dedicated programs that can keep this group together. They need to play more tournaments to get more of this exposure.”

According to Khalifan, the new Fufa Women Super League (FWSL) where the top eight sides from last season’s Fufa Women Elite League (FWEL) will take part, is a good start to enhance their level of competition.

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Especially if the teams in the new top division can swallow up the 21 players he took to Mauritius. About five of those have not participated in league football before.

As far as personal targets are concerned, Khalifan has distanced himself from talk that his achievement with the U-17 girls could see him take the senior team Crested Cranes’ coaching reigns too.

“I am very happy with this assignment and I only hope that there are more opportunities for these girls to show what they have. Here, I can help the players grow without much pressure.

If I had to coach Crested Cranes, I would want to be able to have an influence on how the girls are brought through the ranks,” he added.

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