Uganda open their Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup defence against guests Zimbabwe on December 4 confident of the attacking tools at their disposal.
Eleven and 12 matches into the Uganda Premier League (UPL) season, and just a week to Cecafa kickoff, and strikers are already having Basena scratch his head.
Crème de la crème
Police’s Hood Kaweesa leads the scoring charts with seven goals, followed by KCCA hot-shot Muhammad Shaban and Nelson Senkatuka of Bright Stars on six apiece.
Daniel Sserunkuma of Express has five while KCCA duo of Tito Okello and Derrick Nsibambi and Proline’s Fahad Bayo are on four.
Actually, Basena is so much spoiled for choice he could easily interfere with his plans of taking only four strikers in his 20-man squad, although the coach doubts it will come to that.
“It is a problem any coach in the world would want,” said the Cranes coach. “It increases competition for places and it’s good that we can have a pool of the best to choose from.”
Going by the form book, Shaban would be first on Basena’s lineup.
The KCCA striker had by yesterday’s match against Proline scored six goals in just three games, representing two strikers per match.
While Basena admits the pleasant selection headache, he says he will not have trouble deciding on the four to take to Kenya for Cecafa.
“The window will remain open until the last minute,” he said.
“Of course we have a pecking order where the likes of Emmanuel Okwi (Simba, Tanzania), Derrick Nsibambi have been playing in the senior side.
Variety of options
“I also called Hood Kaweesa, Senkatuka... Shaban is also in. We earlier couldn’t call him because of his transfer (from Onduparaka) issues. “So let’s wait and see. Everyone of them has a chance to push their luck.”
Ten countries will take part in the 2017 Cecafa, where Uganda will be looking to winning it for unprecedented 15th time.
Hosts Kenya, holders Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Burundi, South Sudan, Zanzibar plus guest teams Libya and Zimbabwe have all confirmed participation.
2017 Cecafa Challenge Cup
December 3-17, 2017
(Kisumu, Kakamega, Nakuru)
Group A: Kenya (Hosts), Rwanda (Guest), Libya, Tanzania, Zanzibar
Group B: Uganda, Zimbabwe (Guest), Burundi, Burundi, Ethiopia, South Sudan