KAMPALA – A few days after taking over from Jonathan McKinstry as caretakers, coach Abdallah Mubiru and his assistants – Livingstone Mbabazi as well as Fred Kajoba announced on Friday, a 31-man squad to make The Cranes’ team that would prepare for Africa Cup of Nations – Afcon qualifiers against Burkina Faso and Malawi later this month.
The Cranes host Group B table leaders Burkina Faso on March 24 in Kampala before travelling to Blantyre to play Malawi four days later.
The summoned squad has only seven local based players as the rest are professionals plying their trade in different countries across the globe; but Mubiru made a surprise call-up as he re-united with Dan Isiagi – one of his former student-player at Kibuli SS. Isiagi turns-up for Jomo Cosmos in South Africa. Isiagi has appeared and disappeared from The Cranes’ arrangement before. The other surprise summon came through The Hippos’ Garvin Kizito and Bobosi Byaruhanga. Both youngsters are part of the U-20 team that play Ghana in the continental competition’s final in Mauritania this Saturday.
Mubiru insisted in a chat with our reporter that the team had been carefully selected after consultations with his assistants.
“Each of us had an input because we know each of those players – so there wasn’t any sort of external force,” said Mubiru.
Fufa plans to promote the home game against Burkina Faso through four languages – including Luganda, Luo, Runyakitara and English, according to Husseim Ahmed Marsha – the Communications Director.
Burkina Faso lead Group B with eight points, one ahead of Uganda, who need at least a win to be assured of a qualification into the Afcon finals.
Goalkeepers: Dennis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa), Jamal Salim (Al Hilal, Sudan), Charles Lukwago (KCCA FC-Uganda) and Mathias Kigonya (Azam FC- Tanzania).
Defenders: Bevis Mugabi (Motherwell FC-Scotland), Mustapha Kizza (DC Montreal-USA), Ronald Mukiibi(Ostersunds FK, Sweden), Nicolas Wadada (Azam, Tanzania), Timothy Awany (Sport Club Ironi, Israel), Joseph Ochaya (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Halid Lwaliwa (Vipers SC-Uganda), Elvis Bwomono (Southend United, England), Murushid Juuko (Express FC-Uganda) and Gavin Kizito (SC Villa- Uganda).
Midfielders: Farouq Miya (Konyaspor- Turkey), Kizito Luwagga (Hapoel Kfar Saba- Israel), Moses Waiswa (Supersport United-South Africa), Taddeo Lwanga (Simba SC- Tanzania), Michael Azira (New Mexico United- USA), Khalid Aucho (Misr Lel Makasa, Egypt), Allan Kyambadde (El Gouna, Egypt), Allan Okello (Paradou, Algeria), Abdu Lumala (Pyramids FC- Egypt), Bobosi Byaruhanga (Vipers SC-Uganda) and Ibrahim Orit (Vipers SC-Uganda).
Strikers: Emma Okwi (Ittihad Alexandria, Egypt), Fahad Bayo (Sport Club Ironi Ashdod, Israel), Patrick Kaddu (Youssoufia Berrechid-Tunisia), Ikpeazu Mubiru (Wycombe Wanderers, England), Yunus Sentamu (Vipers SC-Uganda) and Dan Isiagi (Jomo Cosmos-South Africa).