The Uganda Cranes head coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic has named four players that he said will be the backbone of the team during the qualifiers of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.
He was appearing on a popular TV sports show- NTV PressBox on Monday night.
From the back, Micho said the Cranes will largely rely on the exposure and experience of Bevis Mugabi. The Motherwell FC towering defender is expected to be a main stay in the squad as Uganda seek to return to the continent since 2019.
In the midfield, the Serbian without fear of contradiction told the PressBox panel that “Midfield General” Khalid Aucho will be the nucleus of the defensive shield. If he remains fit, the Yanga Africans player will be pivotal for the country in the campaign that kicks off in June.
With the defensive duties catered for, Sredojevic and his technical support staff will now concentrate on the source for goals.
In the creative role, Farouk Miya is the man according to Micho, who’s remembered for delivering the Cranes back to Afcon after over 39 years of absence.
It should be noted as well that Miya scored the goal against Comoros on the last day of the qualifiers to send Uganda to the 2017 edition in Gabon. He also netted Uganda’s solitary goal of the tournament in the 1-1 draw with Mali. He is however jobless at the moment as his
Ukrainian club Lviv can’t play any football due to the Russia invasion.
The Serbian Wolf can’t forget his captain, Emmanuel Okwi, can he? Okwi currently plying his trade in the Rwanda topflight league with Kiyovu FC, will be the reference point in as far as shaking the nets is concerned, Micho believes.
The skipper who assumed the role after the retirement of goalkeeper Denis Onyango must double the effort if he’s to follow in his predicessors’ footsteps.
As captains, Geoffrey Massa and Denis Onyango led the Uganda Cranes to the 2017 and 2019 editions respectively. Onyango however fell short in 2021 before he retired.
Okwi ‘s reign began with the unsuccessful quest to qualify for the Qatar world cup 2022. Had they qualified, he would have made history as the first captain to take the East African country to the tournament.
Despite failing to realize that dream, it’s expected that the striker and his colleagues learnt vital lessons and they will be important in Micho’s pursuit of a second appearance at Africa’s premier international football tournament.
Uganda will learn her path to Cote d’Ivoire later today (Tuesday) when the draw for the groups of the qualifiers take place in Johannesburg, South Africa.