Crested Cranes, Twiga Stars ready to batlle

Crested Cranes assistant coach Ayub Khalifa giving instructions to his players during training | Photo Credit: FUFA

FOOTBALL Crested Cranes, Twiga Stars ready to batlle

Shafic Kiyaga 15:10 - 06.07.2023

Ahead of the encounter, Ayub Khalifah, assistant coach of the Uganda Crested Cranes, expressed the team's readiness and highlighted the importance of the game in their preparation.

Excitement is building as the women's national teams of Uganda and Tanzania gear up to face each other in an international friendly game at MTN-Omondi Stadium this Friday.

The match holds great significance for both sides as they continue their preparations for their respective Women's Olympic Football Tournament Qualifiers.

Ahead of the encounter, Ayub Khalifah, assistant coach of the Uganda Crested Cranes, expressed the team's readiness and highlighted the importance of the game in their preparation.

Khalifah stated, "We are ready for this game and fully aware of how important it is in our preparations.”

“Having a game of such magnitude against a very good team definitely helps us to know where we stand and what we need to improve before facing Rwanda."

Fauzia Najjemba in a practice match for the Crested Cranes | Photo Credit: FUFA image

Uganda plays neighbours Rwanda in the first leg of their preliminary round qualifier for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

The Crested Cranes will be hosting Rwanda on July 12th at Kigali Pele Stadium, with the two teams meeting for the second leg five days later at the same venue.

The winner on aggregate from that encounter will advance to the second qualification round to face Cameroon.

Khalifah addressed the unique situation of playing two games against Rwanda in Rwanda. Despite the circumstances, he emphasized the team's determination to prepare and perform at their best.

Uganda Crested Cranes players vie for possesion during training at Lugogo | Photo Credit: FUFA Media

"It is a situation we find ourselves in as a country but does not mean we should not prepare,” he said.

“We shall go into both games with the same spirit in order to attain our target of progressing to the next round."

With regards to the progress of the team's training, Khalifah shared positive updates, revealing that the preparations have been going according to schedule.

The coach seemed impressed the improvements in the players' fitness levels and expressed optimism for further progress in the remaining games since the majority of them were coming from the off-season. Khalifah expressed satisfaction with.

“We have been in camp since Thursday last week and the preparations are going according to schedule,” Khalifah stressed.

“The first target was to get players into shape since majority were coming from off season. There has been improvement in their fitness levels and we hope more can be achieved in the remaining games.”

Crested Cranes- players in a previous warm up session

Crested Cranes captain, Ruth Aturo, expressed the team's readiness for the upcoming game against Tanzania.

She highlighted the value of playing a friendly match as an opportunity for the players to identify areas for improvement before facing Rwanda.

“As players, we are ready for the game against Tanzania tomorrow. This is definitely a good chance for us to play a friendly game before facing Rwanda because it helps us to know where to improve,” Aturo said ahead of the game.

“Tanzania is a good team with talented players. We have faced them in CECAFA and other engagements and I know we will have a good game.”

Uganda Crested Cranes captrain Ruth Aturo training with the team (FUFA Image.

The Twiga Stars arrived in Uganda on Wednesday evening, eager to put their skills to the test against a formidable opponent like the Crested Cranes.

Despite the withdrawal of Congo, their scheduled opponents in the Olympic Qualifiers, Tanzania remains committed to their preparation and sees the game against Uganda as an excellent opportunity to fine-tune their strategies for the upcoming matches.

Tanzania progress to the next round of the qualifiers where they will meet Botswana who received a bye for the preliminary round.

Crested Cranes Provisional Squad:

Goalkeepers: Ruth Aturo (Alshabab FC Women, Saudi Arabia), Daisy Nakaziro (Kampala Queens FC, Uganda), Daphine Nyayenga (She Corporate FC, Uganda), Hadijah Nalongo (UCU Lady Cardinals, Uganda), Sharon Kaidu (Uganda Martyrs Ladies FC, Uganda)

Defenders: Jolly Kobusinge (Kawempe Muslim Ladies FC, Uganda), Asia Nakibuuka (Kampala Queens FC, Uganda), Sumaya Komuntale (Kampala Queens FC, Uganda), Lukiya Namubiru (Kampala Queens FC, Uganda), Shakira Nankwanga (Kawempe Muslim Ladies FC, Uganda), Stella Musibika (She Corporate FC, Uganda), Shadia Nankya (UCU Lady Cardinals FC, Uganda), Desire Katisi Natooro (Kataka She FC, Uganda), Patience Nabulobi (Uganda Martyrs Ladies FC, Uganda), Asia Nantongo (Kawempe Muslim Ladies FC, Uganda), Samalie Nakacwa (Kampala Queens FC, Uganda)

Midfielders: Joan Nabirye (FK Minsk, Belarus), Zaituni Namaganda (Asubo Gafford Ladies FC, Uganda, Shamirah Nalugya (Kampala Queens FC, Uganda), Shakirah Nyinagahirwa (Kampala Queens FC, Uganda), Phiona Nabbumba (Boldklubben AF 1893, Denmark), Hadijah Nandago (Kampala Queens FC, Uganda), Rhodah Nanziri (Kawempe Muslim Ladies FC, Uganda), Elizabeth Nakigozi (Kampala Queens FC, Uganda)

Forwards: Fauzia Najjemba (ZFK Dynamo Moscow, Russia), Hasifah Nassuna (Kampala Queens FC, Uganda), Zaina Nandede (Kampala Queens FC, Uganda), Sandra Nabweteme (Hapoel Ironic Petah Tikva, Israel), Resty Nanziri (Kampala Queens FC, Uganda), Ashiat Naluggwa (UCU Lady Cardinals FC, Uganda), Fazila Ikwaput (Kampala Queens FC, Uganda), Joanita Ainembabazi (Ceasiaa Queens FC, Tanzania), Catherine Nagadya (Uganda Martyrs Ladies FC, Uganda), Margaret Kunihira (Kampala Queens FC, Uganda), Anita Namata (Vihiga Queens FC, Kenya)