KAMPALA- Cranes quest to make their seventh Africa Cup of Nations finals significantly count started with part of the Total Egypt 2019-bound team entering residential camp at Kabira Country Club yesterday, and coach Sebastien Desabre declaring confidence in his troops.
Uganda’s is a two-pronged approach; with squads split into two.
The first; of 19 home-based players, who will be later joined by a cast of foreign-based stars at Kabira, is preparing for Afcon, while another of 20 players – who start non-residential training at Lugogo today, is gearing up for Cosafa.
The Cranes Cosafa team will compete in this May 25-June 8 tournament in Durban, South Africa as guests and Desabre and Fufa are using it to majorly to prepare for Cameroon Chan 2020.
Some of the 19 home-based players that will not make it to the 26 that Desabre will take to the final camp in Abu Dhabi, before connecting to Egypt for Afcon finals will join the Cosafa team.
“Our fitness trainer and I we have developed special plan for each specific player because of that, and every time we have feedback on progress, weight, distance covered,” Desabre said about the unattached players like Godfrey Walusimbi and Hassan Wasswa who he believes will be ready for Egypt.
“In addition to their special program, we are starting this camp to improve on all aspects, we have two friendlies here and then two friendlies in Abu Dhabi. All this will have players ready. That is why I will have 26 from which I will pick the final 23 for the finals.”
The Afcon Cranes team’s first friendly will be against Cosafa team, which will be coached by Police’s Abdallah Mubiru, on Thursday, with another one lined up for May 25 against a yet-to-be named opponent. The Cranes, with foreign-based players in by this time, will then leave for Abu Dhabi on May 27, camping there for three weeks in which they will face African giants Ivory Coast on June 15. Another friendly against a yet-to-be confirmed opponent is lined up before Ivory Coast on June 9. June 10 if the last day to have submitted the final list of 23 players to feature in Egypt, with Cranes arriving in the North African nation on June 17.
KAMPALA CAMP (MAY 13-27)
May 16: Uganda Cranes vs. Cranes Cosafa XI
May 25: Uganda Cranes vs. TBA side
Abu Dhabi camp (May 27-June 17)
May 27: Leave for Abu Dhabi (three weeks)
June 9: Uganda Cranes vs. TBA side
June 15: Uganda Cranes vs. Ivory Coast