Inside Sheryl Botes’ Blueprint for Crested Cranes Transformation

Sheryl Botes (FUFA Photos)

New Crested Cranes head coach Sheryl Botes has provided a sneak peak of her strategic vision for the future of the Uganda Women’s National Football Team, the Crested Cranes.

The South African illuminated her meticulous plans, aiming to elevate the team to new heights, during her unveiling on Wednesday at FUFA house in Mengo.

Amidst a backdrop of recent challenges that saw the Crested Cranes bundle out of the Olympics Qualifiers and also failing to qualify for Women AFCON, Botes believes she can turn things around.

Botes who said that she already ‘feels like part of the family,’ provided her multifaceted blueprint, emphasizing her commitment to reshaping the team’s identity and performance on the pitch.

She revealaed that she already made a commitment with FUFA president Moses Magogo that there will be an improvement in the way Crested Cranes play football and that her main objective is to make sure that the Crested Cranes become one of the most competitive teams in Africa.

She said that she is here not only to initiate a transformative journey for the Crested Cranes but for Ugandan women’s football as a whole.

Central to her strategy was an emphasis on the development of a possession-oriented style of play.

Speaking on the Crested Cranes recent struggles, she said: “Sometimes it’s very painful to lose but sometimes if you lose you basically gain more information on what should be done. I believe things happen for a reason, and I will look at what transpired and why we didn’t qualify.”

“Things have happened and we have got to learn from them, have seen the things that have gone wrong but that gives me the indication of what I should be bringing on the table. I have a lot of plans, and processes that I will be sharing with the team, we are going to need the players to buy into the philosophy of how I would like us to play.”

Beyond the technical aspects, Botes wants to put significant emphasis on fostering a winning mentality and creating an environment conducive to talent development.

She expressed her eagerness to explore untapped talent pools across various age groups, vowing to provide opportunities to deserving players irrespective of their age.

“I am coming from a neutral standing point, and players that currently have not played for the National team, players that have had the opportunity to play for the National team, the U20 players, they all have the chance now to show me the quality they have.”

She underscored the importance of integrating sports science and technology into the team’s framework, aiming to equip the players with cutting-edge resources to maximize their potential.

She added: “The modern game is really teaching us every day how important it is for us to compete with the best in the world.”

“The game is so intense and played with such a high intensity level now that quality is not enough anymore.

“I am coming to Uganda to bring Sports Science, I am coming to Uganda to bring technology, I am coming to Uganda to find the best quality players that can play in the formation that speaks to Ugandan football the way we love to play football. And we will find the talent.”

She added: “I love possession football and that’s one aspect that I will bring, I have made a commitment to the President two nights ago that there will be improvement in the way we play football.”

“This is the most beautiful game in the whole world and I believe we can play better and become competitive.”

Notably, Botes stressed the importance of collaboration with club coaches, acknowledging their role as key stakeholders in shaping the football landscape.

“There are a lot of building blocks in terms of tactical strategy, in terms of technical strategy that I will be bringing to the table.

“But most importantly I would like to build a close relationship with the clubs coaches because if we are going to play in a certain way and we are going to deviate, I would like to bring the club coaches on board so that they can have an understanding of where we are going.”

Botes reiterated her unwavering commitment to the players, emphasizing that her ultimate goal lies in harnessing their potential and creating an environment where they can thrive.

She added: “The President (Magogo) also made a commitment that they will support the clubs so that they can produce the quality that we need at the National team.

“Its not about me, it will never be about me, it’s about the players, and how best we can deliver the best out of them.

“It’s not about the quality, we have to look at the mental aspect that’s important. We need players who are self driven, who are passionate. And have the winning mentality.”



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