KAMPALA. Of course Uganda coach Sebastien Desabre almost knows the final 23 from the 27 players camping in Abu Dhabi that he will take to Egypt for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals.
But there are always reasons why coaches take extras for pre-tournament camps, late injuries being one of them.
However, there is that other very sporting reason that makes all the hard work worth it; that makes players dream big - and that is the possibility of those still trying to convince the coach they are worth it making the cut.
Tomorrow and next Saturday present an opportunity for the above to put in a convincing shift, with Turkmenistan and Ivory Coast providing the opposition.
The encouraging news for them is that Desabre is throwing the challenge to the entire squad, saying the chance is up for grabs for all.
“Everything is moving on very well but I don’t expect any one of you to relax,” said the Frenchman.
“We have two friendly matches before we fly out to Egypt. Give me every reason to pick you in the final squad.
“The mind and body of each player in camp must remain focused to make my work very easy when selecting the final three next week.”
Midfielder Abdul Lumala, who plays for Syrianska FC in Sweden, is one of those expected to get a run tomorrow.
“There is something special in this camp,” said Lumala after joining his teammates in Abu Dhabi, “We are ready for the tournament but the matches lined up for us before we travel will give us the chance to check on how much we have covered.”
After Ivory Coast on June 15, the Cranes, who are grouped alongside hosts Egypt, DRC and Zimbabwe, will depart Abu Dhabi for Cairo two days later.