Uganda Cranes Start Preparations for CHAN

Uganda Cranes will today enter a residential camp at Cranes Paradise Hotel, Kisaasi to start preparations ahead of the African Nations Championship- CHAN 2022.  

The CHAN 2023 tournament was initially slated for 10 July to 1 August 2022, but the African Soccer governing body- CAF rescheduled it to January 2023, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

On Tuesday, Uganda Cranes Head coach Milutin Sredojevic alias Micho named a provisional squad of 35 players that will embark on preparations for the tournament where Uganda will be featuring for the sixth time in a row.  

The squad has the majority of players from Vipers, the defending champions of the domestic league. The team that will enter camp has four goalkeepers including Nafian Alionzi, Mathias Muwanga (Onduparaka FC), Emmanuel Kalyowa, Joel Mutakubwa, and Jack Komakech. 

Defenders include Ashiraf Mandela, James Begisa, Grant Matsiko, Derrick Ndahiro, Isa Mubiru, Arthur Kiggundu, Hillary Mukundane (Vipers SC), Kenneth Ssemakula, Geofrey Wasswa, Filbert Obencha, Gift Fred, Bright Vuni.  

Midfielders include Siraje Ssentamu, Marvin Joseph Youngman, Saidi Kyeyune, Hussein Ssenoga, Abdu Karim Watambala, and Moses Waiswa while strikers include Milton Karisa, Ibrahim Orit, Travis Mutyaba, Moses Aliro, Kagawa Ssenoga, Rogers Kassim Mato, Bright Anukani, Ibrahim Kasule, Titus Ssematimba, Frank Ssebufu, Najib Yiga, and Cromwell Rwothomio.  

Micho said the selection was based on the team that played the qualifiers. “We have maintained the core of the team that played the Qualifier matches against Tanzania,” Micho said about the team selection.

Uganda will however need to repeat its performance from the qualifying rounds, where it successfully completed a double victory and eliminated Tanzania with a score of 4-0 overall.

It was the sixth time Uganda is qualifying for the continental showpiece having appeared at the previous five editions 2011, 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2020. But, despite routine qualification, Uganda Cranes has fallen short of expectations in the final tournaments.

Uganda exited the previous tournament with just one point after losing to Morocco 5-2 in the final Group C game. In the previous two group games, the team drew with Rwanda and fell to Togo, respectively.

This will therefore be another tough test for Uganda which will be seeking improved performance in the final tournament. But coach Micho is confident that his team has learned from prior tournaments and that they are a better team now.

The CHAN tournament is played between the best national teams of Africa, exclusively featuring players who are active in the national championships and qualified to play in the ongoing season. Morocco is defending champions after defeating Mali in the final of the 2021 edition staged in Cameroon.

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