Uganda Cranes head coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic has chopped his 40-man provisional squad on Friday after an intensive five days of residential training came to an end.
The Serbian tactician has dropped nine of the 25 previously summoned locally based from the Uganda squad currently preparing for the top African football showpiece, where they are drawn alongside Ghana, Mali and Egypt in group D.
Minus Erisa Sekisambu, Halid Lwaliwa, Keziron Kizito (all Vipers), Richard Kassaga (URA FC), Joseph Nsubuga, Martin Kizza (both SC Villa), Rashid Toha (Onduparaka), Sadam Juma (Express FC) and Paul Mucureezi (KCCA), coach Micho now has 31 players to think about as he continues his preparations for for Tunisia, Slovakia and Ivory Coast international friendlies spread over January 4-11 with the first one in Tunis while the latter two will headline the camp in Dubai.
Young and upcoming players like recently crowned Fufa Male Player of the Year Muhammad Shaban, KCCA’s exciting striker Derrick Nsibambi, young defender Timothy Awany, Proline forward Edrisa Lubega and SC Villa winger Vitalis Tabu will be looking to break into the first team.
Only 23 slots are available for the Gabon showpiece and Micho has highlighted this to the players who have embarked on this battle for the available slots.
“Players are committed and dedicated and are hardworking. You cannot have one conclusion after one session but with a set of training sessions, they will fight for their places because we need to go with a road with two lines,” Micho told SuperSport writer Usher Komugisha in an interview.
“The first line is to prepare the team to be theoretically aware, physically fit and mentally strong, technically and tactically effective to play at such a high stage in African football.”
Players remaining in training
Goalkeepers: Benjamin Ochan, Ismail Watenga
Defenders: Denis Iguma, Godfrey Walusimbi, Joseph Ochaya, Isaac Isinde, Timothy Awany, Nicholas Wadada, Shafik Batambuze, Ronald Mukiibi
Midfielders: Hassan Wasswa, Muzamir Mutyaba
Forwards: Edrisa Lubega, Geoffrey Sserunkuma, Muhammad Shaban, Derrick Nsibambi, Yunus Sentamu, Vitalis Tabu