East African guest nation Uganda hope to make a lasting impression on the 2018 COSAFA Women’s Championship, which they see as an excellent opportunity to continue to grow as a team.
The Crested Cranes having been invited to the Southern African championship along with continental powerhouse Cameroon, and will feature in Group C with Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Namibia.
The team has been training in Njeru for the competition, which runs from September 12-22 in Nelson Mandela Bay on South Africa’s east coast.
Skipper Tracy Jones Akiror says the squad has been gelling well and after their performances at the recent 2018 CECAFA Women’s Championship, where the side finished in runners-up.
“We have been together for some time now and I believe we are ready to give it a go,” Akiror told Futaa.
“We gained a lot of experience in the CECAFA Cup in Rwanda. Previously, we faced big teams like Kenya with fear but we have grown enough confidence through the numerous games and training camps.”
Akiror says the COSAFA championship will give the team another chance to test themselves with the potential to play African Women’s Championship qualifiers South Africa, Zambia and Cameroon, and a definite fixture against 2016 Olympic Games participants Zimbabwe in the pool stage.
“We want to test ourselves with the best on the continent because we have great ambitions. We shall go there for the ultimate prize, not just participation,” she said.
Uganda will open their campaign against Swaziland at the Wolfson Stadium on Wednesday (13h00 local; 11h00 GMT).
The side is currently rated number 131 according to the FIFA Women’s World Rankings, but last year they reached a record number 111, which shows their growing prowess.