The senior women’s national football team, the Crested Cranes have kicked off preparations for the forthcoming African Women Cup of Nations slated for July 2022 in Morocco. After producing a masterpiece performance to win the eleven-day CECAFA Senior Women’s championship, the Crested Cranes team has since shifted focus to the continental championship.
The team didn't get the luxury of celebrating their victory but relocated immediately from FUFA Technical center in Njeru to the Cranes Paradise Hotel in Kisaasi for residential training at Kampala Quality Primary school playground.
Speaking after their first training session on Wednesday, the Crested Crane's head coach, George William Lutalo said the players are in high spirits after winning the regional championship.
The camp was also boosted by the arrival of four players who did not take part in the just-concluded CECAFA Women’s championship. They are Fauzia Najjemba, Tracy Jones Akiror, Vanessa Edith Karungi, and Yudaya Nakayenze.
Akiror revealed that she is aware of the competition that will be at the continental contest but she believes the technical bench will equip the team with the best skills they need to stage a good show in Morocco.
The Crested Cranes that will be returning to the continental showpiece for the first time in 20 years, will be working fervently for a good performance as they battle Africa’s heavyweights that will take to the field in Morocco. The Crested Cranes are in the same group as Morocco, Senegal, and Burkina Faso.
Uganda will have to finish in the top two in their group if they are to progress to the next round in their bid to compete for the continent’s grandest prize. The tournament will also act as the qualifier for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand with the top four teams qualifying for the event while two teams will advance to the inter-confederation play-offs.
Lutalo’s side qualified for the 14th edition of the Africa Women Cup of Nations after their opponents Kenya withdrew from the qualifiers of the championship. Consequently, CAF awarded Uganda an automatic qualification to the AWCoN.
Nigeria is the defending champions of the tournament after they defeated South Africa during the 2018 edition. The 2020 edition of the tournament was skipped amidst the coronavirus pandemic.