Today begins a journey, in earnest, of a good number of Uganda Cranes players in the Cecafa Cup in Kakamega when the 14-time record champions kick off the title defence against Burundi.
Two goalkeepers in Benjamin Ochan and Ismail Watenga, defenders Nicholas Wadada, Bernard Muwanga and Shafik Bakaki among others have been here before.
But it is in midfield where players like Paul Mucureezi, Allan Kateregga and Milton Karisa will be looking to use their first cut here to not only win it, but also force themselves into the Chan script.
Attackers including Nelson Senkatuka - who was in the last edition squad, Hood Kaweesa, Daniel Isiagi will also be calling out to coach Moses Basena to have a look at what they can offer, while Derrick Nsibambi must show that he deserves to continue leading the line.
“We have prepared for the tournament and we know the first game is always tough,” said Basena ahead of the continent’s oldest Cup competition.
“We shall do what we can to win but it’s up to the boys to show what they can.”
On his strike force, where he has the league’s leading scorers in Police’s Kaweesa, Bright Star’s Senkatuka, KCCA’s Nsibambi and Proline’s Isiagi, Basena believes they are all capable.
“The tournament will give us a chance to see how for example Senkatuka can hold his own, or any other of them.”
In the 12 times Uganda and Burundi have met, the Cranes have won eight, drawn two and lost as many.
The last time the duo faced off Uganda won it 1-0 an route to winning the most recent edition in Ethiopia two years ago.
CECAFA CUP FIXTURES
Uganda vs Burundi
CECAFA SENIOR CHALLENGE CUP SQUAD
Goalkeepers: I. Watenga, B. Ochan,
Defenders: N. Wadada, J Nsubuga,
I. Muleme, A. Madoi, T. Awany, S.
Midfielders: T. Masiko, T.
Lwanga, M. Muzamiru, K. Milton,
P. Mucureezi, A. Kateregga, A.
Kyambadde, S. Juma
Forwards: N. Senkatuka, D. sibambi, H. Kaweesa, D. Isiagi