The Uganda national netball team (She Cranes) will try to defend their Africa Netball championship title starting on October 18 in Cape Town, South Africa.
A young squad named by new Head Coach Rashid Mubiru will face stiff competition from Zimbabwe, Kenya and Tanzania in group B.
The Zimbabwe Gems will be the first test for She Crane’s side on October 18 before taking on Tanzania the following day and Kenya on Sunday.
Many of the 12 players named in squad are inexperienced and many are yet feature for the senior team at the international stage.
They will be facing experienced Malawi players including Manchester Thunder’s Lwazi Takondwa, who captained Malawi at the Vitality Netball World Cup this year and Joyce Mvula.
However, such a challenge is what will develop these teenage players according to Mubiru. “It’s really important for our younger players to get exposed at senior international competitions ahead of the Netball World Youth Cup in 2021. Other countries in the competition have named very strong squads, the competition is going to be tough but that’s what we want when developing our young athletes. The players just have to show what they can do. Every match is just an opportunity to give these girls experience against senior opposition,” he said.
Peace Proscovia and Lillian Ajiyo were left out after a knee operation, other senior players were left out due to technical reasons.
Irene Eyaru and Joan Nampugu will lead the team as captain and assistant captain respectively with youngsters Shaffie Nalwajja and Privas Kayeya expected to put up exciting performances.
The other dropped senior players include; NIC’s goal attacker Rachael Nanyonga, Meeme Ruth, Sylvia Nanyonga, Muhaimuna Namuwaya.
The Championship to be hosted by South Africa, will attract eight nations including defending champions Uganda, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe Lesotho and Malawi.
The final squad: Privas Kayeya, Irene Eyaru, Irene Mirembe, JescaAchan, Fauzia Nakibuule, Shaffie Nalwajja, Mary Nubba Cholock, Joan Nampungu, Stella Nanfuka, Martha Soigi, Hindu Namutebi and Stella Oyella. Officials; Rashid Mubiru- Head coach, Robert Kisitu- Assistant coach, Beatrice Zawendi- Assistant coach, Samuel Mpoza-Media attach, Ataro Paul Stephen- Primary care-1, Priscilla Ondoga-Primary care-2, Cecilia Anyakoit- NCS Member and Jocelyn Ucanda- Manager