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Desabre challenges Cranes players as preps for AFCON continue

Desabre speaks to the players after one of the training sessions in Abu Dhabi. (PHOTO/FUFA)

The Uganda Cranes players currently in Abd Dhabi have been in camp for over a week now.

As the days go by, more and more players who were summoned as part of the 28 man squad keep on arriving.

As of Thursday evening, 26 of the summoned 28 were with the team in Abu Dhabi, going through several training sessions.

The two that are yet to report are United States of America based midfielder Mike Azira and KCCA FC custodian Charles Lukwago.

Lukwago was with the COSAFA team that miserably lost two consecutive penalty-shoot outs to exit the competition. They arrived back in the country on Thursday afternoon.

It remains to be known when Lukwago will connect to Abu Dhabi but as of Thursday, he was still in Uganda.

Lukwago was in Uganda as of Thursday.

Azira’s situation is very much like that of Lukwago as the Montreal Impact player’s arrival in Abu Dhabi is yet to be known.

If news doing rounds on the Federation of Uganda Football Association’s (FUFA) website is to be believed, the duo will join camp before the end of the week.

As the team waits on Lukwago and Azira, the others continue with daily training under the guidance of head coach Sebastien Desabre.

Desabre who will name his final 23 man squad, 10 days before the AFCON finals in Egypt later this month, had some strong words for the players currently in camp.

“Everything is moving on very well but I don’t expect any one of you to relax, Desabre told the players.

“We have two friendly matches on 9th and 15th June before we fly out to Egypt.

“Give me every reason to pick you in the final squad.

“The mind and body of each player in camp must remain focused to make my work very easy when selecting the final 23 man squad next week.

The Cranes will take on Turkmenistan on Sunday, 9th May, in their first build up game. It is after this game that Desabre will announce his final 23 man squad.

Six days later, they will face Ivory Coast in their final game before AFCON 2019.

At the finals, Uganda is in Group A alongside hosts-Egypt, DR Congo and Zimbabwe.

The 26 players currently camped in Abu Dhabi

Denis Onyango, Hassan Wasswa Mawanda, Joseph Ochaya, Timothy Awanyi, Godfrey Walusimbi, Patrick Kaddu, Bevis Mugabi, Isaac Muleme, Khalid Aucho, Tadeo Lwanga, Allan Kyambadde, Saddam Juma, Moses Waiswa and Murushid Jjuuko, Derrick Nsibambi, Kirizestom Ntambi, Farouk Miya, Kizito Luwaga, Salim Jamal, Alexis Bbakka, Abdu Lumala, Allan kateregga, Nicholas Wadada, Emmanuel Okwi, Ronald Mukiibi, Robert Odongokara.

Officials in Abu Dhabi

Leader of Delegation – Issa Magola
Head Coach – Sebastien Desabre
Assistant Coach – Matia Lule
Goalkeeping Coach – Fred Kajoba
Team Doctor – Ronald Kisolo
Physiotherapist – Ivan Ssewanyana
Media Officer – Ahmed Hussein
Physical Fitness Trainer – Jerome D’Antonio
Kits Managers – Lawrence Kizito and Ayub Balyejusa

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