Abdallah Mubiru will take charge of his most high profile national engagement tonight when Uganda Cranes face Kenya in an international friendly at Moi International Stadium, Kasarani today.
The Police FC coach, in charge of the Cranes in the interim as Sebastien Desabre’s permanent replacement waits to be appointed, has so far been in the dugout with the national team at Cosafa and Chan qualifiers. This afternoon’s encounter will be yet another milestone for Mubiru and several fresh faces in the Cranes playing staff as both look to make an impression ahead of the Chan 2020 double-legged qualifier against Burundi and 2021 Afcon ties away to Burkina Faso and Malawi in Kampala.
“We had a very short period to prepare but I am very happy with the progress of the local based players,” Mubiru told Sunday Monitor’s sister publication, the Daily Nation, on the team’s arrival in Nairobi Friday morning. The team made their maiden flight aboard Uganda Airlines. “They have been very cooperative and worked hard in training. They want to cement their places in the national team and are eager to improve. This is very encouraging.”
On Uganda’s opponents, Mubiru said “their (Harambee Stars) performance has been good in recent times.”
He added: “They have a good team but we are also performing better. It is a high profile friendly and I am really looking forward to it. We respect Kenya but do not fear them.”
Experienced Al Ittihad (Egypt) striker Emmanuel Okwi will captain the Cranes and will be deputised by Israel-based Timothy Awany.
The other foreign based players on the team are Khalid Aucho, Allan Kyambadde, Tadeo Lwanga and Kizito Luwagga. Majority of the players are from the StarTimes Uganda Premier League (SUPL) clubs.
KCCA exciting forward Allan Okello leads the cast of youngsters expected to attract attention in Nairobi.
Cranes squad to face Kenya
Joel Mutakubwa, Charles Lukwago (Goalkeepers), Timothy Awanyi, Paul Willa, Mustapha Mujjuzi, Halid Lwaliwa, Mustafa Kizza, John Revita, Khalid Aucho, Tadeo Lwanga, Kizito Luwagga, Allan Kayiwa, n Okello, Fahad Bayo, Allan Kyambadde, Muzamir Mutyaba, Bright Anukani, Emmanuel Okwi