Ethiopia’s Walia Antelope to gauge Cranes Afcon preps

New skipper Onyango is one of the stars missing in Ethiopia.

International friendly

Today: Ethiopia vs Uganda

June 6: Senegal vs Uganda

Afcon qualifying fixture

June 10: Cape Verde vs Uganda


By Pius Magala

The continued inactivity of a number of players that featured for  Cranes at the 2017 Afcon finals in Gabon have left coach Micho Sredojevic trying out a number of fringe players ahead of the 2019 Afcon campaign.

The trend is set to continue on Saturday evening when the Cranes play Ethiopia at the Hawassa International Stadium.

Tony Mawejje Dennis Guma and Yunus Sentamu have all not played competitive football since featuring in Gabon. Guma and Sentamu are currently without a club while Geoffrey Massa retired from international football.

With new captain Denis Onyango and KCCA players featuring in Caf competitions Micho is expected to give a chance to several players who have been on the peripherals of the senior national team.

Among them is Aalborg midfielder Robert Kakeeto, who could feature in midfield alongside the established Khalid Aucho and Vipers anchorman Deus Bukenya.

Forward Nelson Ssenkatuka, who scored 11 league goals for Proline in the recently-ended season, is also expected to get a look in alongside Emmanuel Okwi, who appears to be in line for more playing time following Massa’s retirement.

Defender Savio Kabugo will also be granted another opportunity to regain his spot after two torrid years in which he suffered with a shin injury.

“We are here to choose the best possible players that can in this moment serve Uganda with results. We want to see whether someone will convince us to be the surprise call up,” Micho said ahead of the friendly game.

Up to seven players are expected to be dropped as the KCCA contingent and Onyango join the team that will proceed for another friendly against Senegal on Tuesday.

The two teams are preparing for the opening games of their respective qualification campaigns with Ethiopia away to Ghana while Uganda will proceed to Cape Verde via Senegal.


Cranes team in Ethiopia

Goalkeepers: Ismail Watenga (Vipers), Said Keni (Proline)

Defenders: Nicholas Wadada (Vipers), Murushid Juuko (Simba, Tanzania), Hassan Wasswa Mawanda (Nijemh, Lebanon), Godfrey Walusimbi (Gor Mahia), Savio Kabugo (Proline)

Midfielders: Aucho Khalid (Red Star, Serbia), Crizestom Ntambi (Jimma Aba Buna, Ethiopia), Deus Bukenya (Vipers), Martin Kizza (SC Villa), Robert Kakeeto (Aalborg, Denmark), Bernard Muwanga (SC Villa)

Forwards: Emmanuel Okwi (SC Villa), Nelson Senkatuka (Proline), Muhammad Shaban (Onduparaka), Milton Kariisa (Vipers), Farouk Miya (Standard Leige, on loan to Royal Excel Mouscron)



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