By Denis Turyahebwa
The Crested Cranes Ruth Aturo goalkeeper who currently plies her trade with UCU Lady Cardinals FC has been the first choice since 2016.
Aturo’s moment came in the Crested Cranes first international friendly against Kenya Harambe starlets in July 2016 at Moi International Stadium.
She had travelled as a second choice to Fatuma Matovu, but the later was given marching orders after fouling an opponent in her area and when Aturo was called in to wear the gloves, she has not looked back.
She has been a prominent figure in the Crested Cranes set up and in 2018, she won two awards as goalkeeper of the tournament awards both CECAFA and COSAFA where Uganda finished second and third respectively.
Born 25 years ago to Ben Ocharo and Grace Itwau of Otatai Village in Asuret Sub County in Soroti district, Aturo says goalkeeping is a family thing, starting from grandfather Nicodemus Angauu (RIP) who was a renowned shot-stopper in Soroti.
Aturo, who is currently in camp with the rest of the team, preparing for the Africa Women Cup of Nations Qualifiers against Ethiopia on Wednesday at St Mary’s Stadium Kitende, had a one on one interview with FUFA media and below are the excerpts.
Q-How do you feel having served on the national team for this time?
A-I feel good to serve as the national team first-choice goalkeeper for all the times I have been there.
Q-What does it mean to you wearing the national team colours and the armband?
A-It means a lot to me and my family because being picked among the many Ugandans who play football to be the one to represent all those Ugandans and above all lead the chosen few like me as their captain, is not something easy rather it’s a blessing from God.
Q-When did you start playing football?
A-I started playing football in 2009. It all started as a leisure thing with my brothers (Egalu Stephen, Erangu John, Epwonu Samuel and sister Achibo Mary) but later got serious. I, later on, joined some outreach ministry called Divine Stars in Soroti and off I started the journey.
Q-How did you find yourself in the goalposts?
A-No, my position on the pitch as a goalkeeper is not by accident but rather a family talent because my late grandfather (Nicodemus Angauu-RIP) was one of the best goalkeepers in Soroti.
Q-What do you talk about the game ahead against Ethiopia
A-The game ahead against Ethiopia will not be an easy game because both teams will need to qualify but we are more ready and have got the necessary guidance from our coaches.
Q- What should Ugandans expect of you and the team in this campaign?
A-Ugandans should have hope and trust in us that we can make it because we the players we are not only looking at qualifying to the next level but also reaching our maiden AWCON. We want to keep doing well.
Q-Where do you think the Ethiopians are weak and strong?
A-They is a good team but they are slow on defending counter attacks. They are very good in the first half but then slow down in the second half. But they are very good and comfortable on the ball when you allow them.