Cecafa undisputed champions, Uganda, arrive in the Kenyan Western town of Kakamega this evening confident of starting from where they left two years ago.
Africa’s oldest Cup competition, Cecafa, officially returns from a two-year slumber tomorrow with hosts Kenya facing Rwanda and guests Libya taking on Tanzania. The Cranes, 1-0 winners over Rwanda in the finals of the last edition held in Ethiopia, are not in action until earliest Wednesday after their would-have-been Monday opponents, Zimbabwe, withdrew this week.
Coach Moses Basena men’s first roll of action will kick-start what could lead to an unprecedented 15th title, with the closest - Kenya - currently a massive eight trophies behind.
“Of course as defending champions, everyone will expect us to go all the way,” Basena told SCORE.
“It’s also an opportunity for the players that have been summoned to show that they can do it.” Historical odds seem favour to the Cranes and hosts Kenya Harambee Stars as action rolls off. Of the 14 Cecafa titles the Cranes have bagged, 10 have come in editions outside Uganda.
Actually, two of the 10 - 1989 and 2009 - were lifted in Kenya, something that will have the hosts pondering.
Uganda’s titles won on home soil came in 1973, 2000, 2008 and 2012.
Kenya will, however, also be encouraged by the fact that two of their six titles have come at home - in 1983 and 2013. League’s leading scorer with seven goals, Police’s Hood Kaweesa, Bright Stars striker Nelson Senkatuka, Vipers Milton Karisa (all on six goals apiece) and KCCA’s Derrick Nsibambi (four) will look to use this to book berths into Basena’s
2017 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup
Dec 3-17, 2017
(Kisumu, Kakamega, Nakuru)
Group A: Kenya [Ken] (Hosts), Rwanda [Rw] (Guest), Libya [Lby], Tanzania [Tz], Zanzibar [Zan]
Group B: Uganda [Uga], Zimbabwe [ZWE] (withdrawn), Burundi [Bdi], Ethiopia [Et], South Sudan [Ss]
PROVISIONAL Cranes squad:
Isma Watenga (Vipers), Benjamin Ochan (KCCA), Nichoals Sebwato (Onduparaka), Tom Ikara (Kirinya Jinja SS), Nicolas Wadada (Vipers), Ibrahim Kiyemba (SC Villa), Isaac Muleme (KCCA), Aggrey Madoi (Police), Juuko Murushid (Simba-Tanzania), Timothy Awany (KCCA), Savio Kabugo (Proline), Bernard Muwanga (SC Villa), Tom Masiko (Vipers), Mutyaba Muzamiru (KCCA), Tadeo Lwanga (Vipers), Stephen Mugisa (Police), Milton Karisa (Vipers), Paul Mucureezi (KCCA), Allan Kateregga (KCCA), Allan Kyambadde (SC Villa), Nelson Senkatuka (Bright Stars), Derrick Nsibambi (KCCA), Hood Kaweesa (Police), Batte Seif (Bright Stars), Saddam Juma (KCCA), Daniel Isiagi (Proline), Basse Methodious (Mbarara)