KAMPALA – A call up to the National team is always accompanied with a feeling of satisfaction for any footballer and for Bevis Mugabi, it is no different.
The towering Uganda Cranes and Yoevil Town center back is part of the 28 players that will camp with the National team in Abu Dhabi before heading to the AFCON finals in Egypt.
Despite being the only one in the squad currently playing in England, the 21 year old was surprised with his recent call up to the Uganda Cranes.
“I never expected this and I was very surprised though I had a good season despite my club being relegated.
“I was communicating to the coach (Sebastien Desabre) because he followed me as he watched my games online.
“I am excited for this opportunity to be part of the Uganda National team AFCON squad.
Mugabi was first called up in 2018 ahead of the official March FIFA friendly-window.
He featured against both the 0-0 draw with Malawi and the victory over Swaziland, impressing in the two games.
Mugabi enjoyed the experience and was always looking forward to future engagements with the Cranes.
“At my first call up in March 2018, I enjoyed a lot because it was my first time to play international football and want a more test of it by featuring in a competitive match like a qualifier and a competition like AFCON because that’s when you can actually say you are an international player.
“I am still waiting for that moment to come thus patiently waiting and training hard.
“I am not under any pressure amidst the tight competition for a place in the twenty three man final AFCON squad. The competition is healthy because everyone is at his best which is good for the team.
Mugabi is optimistic about Uganda’s chances at the upcoming AFCON despite being one of the underdogs.
“I pity those who underrate Uganda because we shall surprise many, the team has talented and hardworking players, the coach and his entire technical team are awesome together with the wonderful preparations.
The Cranes are currently still camped at Kabira Coutry Club but will head for Abu Dhabi later this week. While there, they play two friendly games before flying to Ivory Coast where they will continue with preparation.
At AFCON 2019, they were drawn in Group A alongside Egypt, DR Congo and Zimbabwe.
The Cranes Squad to Abu Dhabi:
Goalkeepers: Denis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundowns-South Africa), Jamal Salim (Al Hilal-Sudan), Robert Odongkara (Adama City FC-Ethiopia), Charles Lukwago (KCCA FC-Uganda).
Defenders: Bevis Mugabi (Yeovil Town- England), Nicholas Wadada (Azam FC-Tanzania), Awanyi Timothy (KCCA FC-Uganda), Hassan Wasswa Mawanda (Unattached), Ronald Mukiibi (Ostersunds-Sweden), Murushid Juuko (Simba-Tanzania), Godfrey Walsumbi (Unattached), Muleme Isaac ( FK Viktoria Zizkov- Czech Republic), Joseph Ochaya (TP Mazembe-DR Congo).
Midfielders: Tadeo Lwanga (Vipers SC-Uganda), Khalid Aucho (Church Hill Brothers Fc-India), Kirizestom Ntambi- Coffee FC –Ethiopia), Lumala Abdul (Syrianska FC -Sweden) Michael Azira (Montreal-USA), Waisswa Moses (Vipers SC-Uganda), Sadam Juma (KCCA FC-Uganda), Faruku Miya (HNK Gorica FC- Croatia), Kizito Luwagga (Shakhter Karagandy-Kazakhstan), Kateregga Allan ( Maritzburg-South Africa), Emmanuel Okwi (Simba SC – Tanzania) .
Strikers: Patrick Kaddu (KCCA FC-Uganda), Allan Kyambadde (KCCA FC-Uganda), Alexis Bakka (Carlstad United- Sweden), Nsibambi Derrick (Smouha- Egypt).