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Uganda have what it takes to qualify for World Cup U17 – Nalukenge

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The forward will lead her side against Cameroon in the final round of qualifiers on a date yet to be confirmed

Crested Cranes striker Juliet Nalukenge believes Uganda have what it takes to qualify for the U17 World Cup in India.

The global junior tournament has been scheduled for 17 February – 7 March 2021 and Uganda, after thrashing Ethiopia 5-1 and Tanzania 6-2, are on course fighting for a maiden appearance.

They will have to beat Cameroon’s Les Lioness if they are to book a ticket.

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“It would mean a lot for us if we managed to earn a qualification,” Nalukenge told Caf Online.

“I think we have done well in the qualifiers and I believe we have what it takes to make history for Uganda. The fact that no other previous team has achieved this is motivation enough for us.”

The Uganda-Cameroon meeting was initially scheduled for May but was postponed due to the onset of the coronavirus.

The 17-year-old star also revealed what she considers as great moments so far.

“Winning the Fufa Women’s Player of the Year was a huge thing for me. There are other girls who had equally successful seasons and to be chosen as the best meant a lot for me especially at my age,” she revealed.

“And to guide the team to the Cecafa title in Jinja made it even sweeter.” 

Nalukenge also explained how her father’s encouragement saw her venture into football.

“In my family, it is just my father and brother who play football. My father played for local teams when he was young and my brother is still playing,” she added.

“I used to watch him play and I would be so happy. When he noticed that I love football, he started encouraging and giving me support.

“Whenever I played in school, he will always encourage me to do better.”

Nalukenge made her Crested Cranes debut in 2018 when she was called up to the senior Uganda women’s team for the Cosafa Cup.

“At first, when I was called to camp, I was a bit scared because there were other big girls, and I was just a young player from school,” the striker concluded.

“Gradually, I became used to it and was comfortable. But it was such a huge moment for me to be called up to the senior team.” 

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