By Samson Opus
A couple of years ago, Rachael Nanyonga was just a squad member in the She Cranes netball team. The 25-year-old was never considered for the first team.
However, five matches into the 2015 Netball World Cup, Nanyonga has already become a hit in Sydney, Australia.
Most TV commentators have hailed the pint-sized Ugandan wing/attacker as a darling of the crowd for her agile and acrobatic
skills on court.
According to the talk already doing the rounds in Sydney, Nanyonga might not return to Uganda as she is likely to be sported by scouts for professional netball.
Before departure for Australia, the 5-foot tall player hinted that her dream was to go to Sydney and work her way to the professional
“My dream is to do well in Sydney then play professional netball in England. That is my prayer. And I am working tirelessly towards
that,” she told New Vision during an interview that was published in the Netball World Cup magazine.
Although She Cranes captain Peace Proscovia is still an asset in the Ugandan side for goals, the pint-sized Nanyonga has stolen the hearts of many fans for her dazzling skills on the ball.
Her conversion rate has been breathtaking.
The Goal Attacker stood out prominently as the Uganda She Cranes defied the under-dog tag in group D during the preliminary round as
they breezed into the first Super Eight.
Despite losing to Malawi in the first game in the Super Eight yesterday, the new Ugandan revelation still posted good statistics as she scored 15/18.
In their marginal 49-17 loss to Wales in the last group D game on Monday, Nanyonga scored 21/23.
“Good return Nanyonga. She continues to hurt Wales despite her size. The crowd just love her,” the commentator was heard saying in the third quarter of the game against Wales.
In the opening match 78-38 victory against Zambia, Nanyonga came out of oblivion and registered 10/14. She followed that up in the 60-41 victory against Fiji as she managed 24/29.
Such a great show of skills is what has perhaps led Australian fans to be abuzz with the words ‘She Cranes, She- Cranes…” in praise of the wonderful performance of the Ugandan team.
If Nanyonga continues to star for the She Cranes against world giants Jamaica tomorrow and New Zealand
on Friday, it will not be long before she completes her career dream move to England.
Nanyonga, Ruth Meeme, Halima Nakachwa and Lilian Ajio have already been tipped to follow in the footsteps of their compatriot Proscovia, who turns up for Loughborough Lightening in the UK.