He may have been with the Cranes squad for just 10 days but head coach Sebastien Desabre is desperate to make a huge impact and fire out of the Chan group stages on Uganda’s fourth time of asking.
As the Cranes departed for Morocco yesterday, Sebastien revealed he now knows almost all his players. “I know the players’ faces and names. We are focused. I have worked with my staff that know the players while selecting the players,” the Frenchman revealed.
“I chose players with good experience, who have been in Cecafa and other tournaments.”
The former Asec Mimosas, CS Garoua, ES Tunis, Desportivo Libolo, Dubai Club, JS Saoura, Wydad Athletic Club and Ismaily coach let out part of his strategy to defy the odds in Marakech.
“The most important thing is winning the first game against Zambia,” he said, “Each game has a lot of pressure but my philosophy is offensive. I need to know the players better to know who to choose (in the first line up),” he added.
Sebastien is convinced Uganda, like opponents Ivory Coast, Namibia and Zambia have quality players that can enable the team to go out of the group.
He will use the friendly games against Congo Brazaville on Saturday and Cameroon next Tuesday to sieve his best 23-man squad.
There was an air of discontent in the team selection, in which Proline forward Dan Isiagi and SC Villa winger Godfrey Lwesibawa failed to make the cut, following yesterday’s final training session at Africa Bible University grounds in Lubowa.
But deputy head coach Matia Lule calmed the fears. “The decision on players to take was made by the technical team. We have worked on the players’ mindset and we think that all of them are ready for the tourney.”
Team to emulate Miya - Muwanga
Belgium based Cranes star Farouk Miya partly used the last Chan tourney in Rwanda as launch pad to his career move. To team skipper Bernard Muwanga, every player in camp is itching to achieve the same milestone in Marakech.
“We want to make it to professional ranks like Miya. We are adapting to the new coach and our target for us as the players is to go out of the group,” said the Villa skipper.
“We want to do what others failed to do although it is not an easy group for us. We have the quality and the technical team is now good for us.”
Muwanga is optimistic Cranes will benefit from being together for a long time and having ‘cooperation’.
CRANES TEAM TO MOROCCO
Goalkeepers; Ochan Benjamin, Ismael
Watenga, Saidi Keni
Defenders: Nicholas Wadada, Joseph
Nsubuga, Timothy Awany, Bernard
Muwanga, Mustapha Mujjuzi,Aggrey Madoi,
Isaac Muleme, Mustapha Kizza
Midfielders: Milton Karisa, Paul Mucureezi,
Allan Kyambadde, Seif Batte, Rahmat
Senfuka, Abubaker Kasule, Tadeo Lwanga,
Moses Waisswa, Saddam Juma, Muzamil
Mutyaba, Tom Masiko
Strikers: Shaban Muhammad, Derrick
Nsibambi, Nelson Senkatuka