Uganda’s women’s national football team, the Crested Cranes, has a new interim head coach. Charles Ayiekoh has been chosen to take the reins temporarily and is eager to demonstrate his capabilities during the upcoming matches against Cameroon in the second round of the 2024 Olympic Qualifiers, scheduled between October 23 and 31.
Charles Ayiekoh, who has expressed interest in a permanent coaching role, made a name for himself in women’s football last year by guiding She Corporate to the Cecafa region Caf Women’s Champions League qualifiers. Despite finishing as runners-up, his reputation soared, leading him to coach Simba Queens, who eventually qualified for the finals in Morocco.
In the 2022/23 season, Simba lost the league title to JKT Queens, missing out on Champions League qualification and leading to Ayiekoh’s departure.
One of Ayiekoh’s defining characteristics as a coach is his focus on stifling the opponent’s strengths. This represents a shift from the previous approach, as the outgoing caretaker coach, Ayub Khalifa, had aimed for the team to take initiative but struggled due to a lack of players with the required abilities and composure. His predecessors, George Lutalo and Faridah Bulega, also had their distinct coaching styles.
Notably, Ayiekoh has demonstrated the ability to disrupt the opponent’s buildup process effectively, as evidenced in a match against the Central Bank of Ethiopia.
Uganda enters the Olympic Qualifiers with heightened expectations, given that Cameroon recently suffered a defeat to Kenya in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Here is a summary of Crested Cranes coaches since 2016:
|Oct 2023 –
Crested Cranes interim technical team:
- Coach: Charles Ayiekoh
- Assistants: Eric Ndifuna, Olive Mbekeka
- Goalkeeping coach: Stephen Kigundu
- Fitness trainer: Felix Ayobo
- Doctor: Mable Kabatalindwa
- Physiotherapist: Darlian Kyabasiimire