Recently, the Uganda Cranes Stand-in coach Abdallah Mubiru summoned a squad of 34 players to prepare for an international friendly match against Bafana Bafana slated for next month in South Africa.
The team is dominated by young players mostly featuring in the domestic league while some are making their debut appearance on the National team. The senior players missing on the squad include the goalkeeper Salim Jamal, who has been deputizing Denis Onyango, Joseph Ochaya, Nicholas Wadada, Khalid Aucho, Farouk Miya and Kizito Luwagga.
These were part of the recent Uganda Cranes team that played in the Afcon qualifiers. The composition of the team has generated mixed reactions from several Uganda Cranes fans who thought some senior players deserve to be part of the team.
However, the Cranes stand-in coach, Abdallah Mubiru, says that some of the players he summoned were part of the Uganda Hippos team that played the U20 Afcon finals this year, adding that his intention is to build from their success and motivate them.
The gaffer however admitted that the country has many good players but he and the technical team only summoned those they are comfortable working with.
The interim coach said the previous team of senior players had the task of qualifying for World Cup and the new team they are building has a target of qualifying for the Afcon and winning the championship.
Mubiru admitted that the transition of the team will be a big task, saying the new players will be replacing great players like Denis Onyango.
Jeremiah Kasadha, a former football player and Uganda Cranes supporter, says that he was surprised to see that so many senior players were missing on the team whom he thinks are important because they bring experience to the team.
Kasadha says most of the summoned players lack experience because many of them only play in the less competitive domestic league.
Nicholas Kajura also a Uganda Cranes follower says that it is not bad to include new talents on the National team but some experienced players shouldn’t have missed on the team.
According to the FUFA Communications Director, Ahmed Hussein, says the team will enter residential camp later today and kickoff of training on Monday at the MTN Omondi stadium, Lugogo.
Goalkeepers – Isma Watenga, Charles Lukwago, Simon Tamale, Mathias Kigonya
Defenders – Elvis Bwomono, Innocent Wafula, Paul Willa, Mustafa Kizza, Aziz Kayondo, Halid Lwaliwa, Murushid Juuko, Gavin Kizito Mugweri, Walusimbi Enock, Patrick Mbowa, Kenneth Ssemakula, Hassan Muhamud.
Midfielders – Taddeo Lwanga, Moses Waiswa, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Ivan Sserubiru, Bright Anukani, Shafic Kagimu, Isma Mugulusi, Abdul Lumala, Ibrahim Orit, Joseph Akandanwaho
Forwards – Emmanuel Okwi, Richard Basangwa, Patrick Kaddu, Derrick Kakooza, Yunus Ssentamu, Eric Kambale, Allan Okello