By Shaban Benteke
Only 14 players turned up for Uganda Cranes training on Monday at the Star Times stadium in Lugogo as the team resumed training after the 3-0 defeat of Rwanda on Saturday at the St Marys stadium in Kitende.
All SC Vipers players including goalkeeper Ismail Watenga, this vice captain Nicholas Wadada, doctor Tom Matsiko, Moses Waiswa, Milton Kalisa, Erisa Ssekisambu and young sensation Frank “Zaga” Tumwesigye did not turn up for the session because they had a friendly game against Tanzanian money bags Azam. Onduparaka duo of defender Rashid Toha and striker Muhammad Shaban where also absent.
On the missing players, Basena quickly noted that it may be a blessing in some sense. ” The vipers players are not with us because they have a friendly. When you play a game whether competitive or not, you gain the much needed match fitness which is good for the team,” Basena said, adding that it is the reason why he is not so concerned about their absence.
Asked about the preparations ahead of the return leg in Kigali on Saturday, Basena warned the team against complacency.
“We beat them here so they can also beat us at their home.They have some good players and the crowd will be behind them, so we don’t need to be complacent like we were in the last ten minutes of the game,” said Basena who grabbed his maiden victory as the head coach of the Uganda Cranes in the 3-0 win on Saturday.
The return leg is on Saturday August 19 at Nyamirambo Stadium in Kigali at 4pm, Ugandan time.