A group of ninteen players and fourteen officials Thursday morning left for Ethiopia as Uganda Cranes continue to prepare for 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifiers.
The squad mainly composed of locally based players, has also team captain Emmanuel Okwi (unattached) and Egyptian based winger Abdu Lumala.
After training on Wednesday, Okwi told media, “We have prepared well since day one of training. The response of the players has been top notch and we are ready to give our best.”
Among the players, are some of the 2021 Africa U-20 silver medalists. The players were part of the Uganda Hippos who lost 2-0 to Ghana in a final that took place in Mauritania.
These include defenders Abdu Aziizi Kayondo, Kenneth Semakula, and Gavin Kizito Mugweri as well as midfielder Bobosi Byaruhanga.
A number of players however missed the trip to Addis Ababa for various reasons.
Morocco-based forward Patrick Henry Kaddu (hamstring), Express midfielder Muzamiru Mutyaba (knee), URA goalkeeper Nafian Alionzi (hamstring), and Mbarara City striker Jude Ssemugabi (ankle sprain) are those who might want to wait until further fixtures.
Others dropped are; goalkeeper Simon Tamale, defenders Paul Willa, Eric Ssenjobe, Arthur Kiggundu and Hassan Muhamud plus midfielder Gift Ali.
In Ethiopia, coach Milutin Sredojevic ‘Micho’ will welcome a few additions to the team of foreign based players. And part of this group are goalkeeper Watenga Ismail from Chippa United (S. Africa) and midfielder Khalid Aucho (Young Africans).
Aucho returns to the Cranes after being suspended by Fufa for ‘indiscipline’ during 2021 Afcon qualification campaign.
The Cranes are expected to play an international build up match against Ethiopia on Sunday, 29th August 2021, in preparation for the Kenya clash in the FIFA World Cup group E qualifier on 6th September 2021.
Uganda travels to Kenya on 2nd September 2021 before playing Mali four days later at the St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende.
Goalkeepers: Charles Lukwago (KCCA), Joel Mutakubwa (Express)
Defenders: Enock Walusimbi (Express), Innocent Esimu Wafula (KCCA), Abdu Aziizi Kayondo (Vipers), Halidi Lwaliwa (Vipers), Murushid Juuko (Express), Gavin Mugweri Kizito (SC Villa), Kenneth Ssemakula (SC Villa)
Midfielders: Abdu Lumala (Pyramids, Egypt), Denis Iguma (KCCA), Bobosi Byaruhanga (Vipers), Shafik Kuchi Kagimu (URA), Ibrahim Orit (Vipers), Milton Karisa (Vipers)
Forwards: Steven Dese Mukwala (URA), Emmanuel Arnold Okwi (Captain – Unattached), Yunus Junior Sentamu (Vipers), Martin Kizza (Express)
Leader of Delegation: Isa Magoola
Head coach: Milutin Sredojevic
Assistant coach: Moses Basena
Goalkeeping coach: Fred Kajoba Kisitu
Performance Coach: Franck Plaine
Fitness Coach: Felix Ayobo
Team Coordinator: Geofrey Massa
National Teams officer: Paul Mukatabala
Team Physician: Emmanuel Nakabago
Team Physiotherapist: Ivan Ssewanyana
Kit Manager 1: Ayub Balyejusa
Kit Manager 2: Samuel Mulondo
Media: David Isabirye