KAMPALA-Three names stood out in Cranes coach Micho Sredojevic’s 31-man provisional squad to prepare for an international friendly away to Egypt next Wednesday as they gear up for next month’s World Cup decider against Senegal.
Midfielders Joseph Kabagambe and Vincent Kayizzi all make returns after over a year on the sidelines while Ibra Ssekajja, the 20-year-old English-Ugandan Crystal Palace striker, gets a maiden call-up. Patrick Ochan also makes a comeback after over eight months out.
Kabagambe’s last appearance for Cranes came in the 2-0 defeat away to Angola while Kayizzi, now in Poland with Motor Lublin, in the goalless draw with Kenya - all in 2011.
For Ochan, the candle for the TP Mazembe player seemed to have burned out the moment he missed that spot-kick as Uganda crashed out of Afcon 2013 against Zambia last year.
He was then ignored in coach Bobby Williamson’s last few games and Micho’s matches in charge against Libya, Liberia and Angola. The Serb has now handed the player he coached at St George in Ethiopia a new lifeline. The surprise, though, was Sekajja. The striker made his debut for the newly promoted Barclays Premier League side Crystal Palace in April 2011 scoring a late equalizer against Hull City with his first touch.
He spent the second half of last season with Barnet but is expected to make his debut in the upcoming Premier League season. He has only represented England in under 16, meaning he is eligible for Uganda.
Meanwhile, the Cranes were at a monthly sitting yesterday unanimously voted Nile Special Uganda Sports Press Association (Uspa) personalities of July for their Africa Nations Championship (Chan) feat.
Uganda beat Tanzania home and away (4-1 agg) to qualify for the 2014 Chan in South Africa.
Denis Guma grabbed Uganda’s only goal in the 1-0 win in Dar es Salaam while Frank Kalanda scored a brace and Brian Majwega the other in the 3-1 victory in Kampala. The Uganda men and women volleyball teams were also recommended for winning zonal matches to advance to the next stage of Africa Zone five World Championship qualifiers, just as were NIC netball club for winning the East African Senior Netball Championships in Nairobi among others.
Goalkeepers: R. Odongkara (St George -Ethiopia), D. Onyango (Bidvest, SA), Abel Dhaira (Simba – TZ), H. Muwonge (Vipers)
Defenders: N. Wadada (Vipers) D. Guma (SCVU), G. Walusimbi (Don Bosco - DRC), J.Ochaya (Kotoko - Ghana), A. Mwesigwa (FC Ordabasy - Kazakhstan), I. Isinde (St George - Ethiopia), H. Kalungi (Richmond . - USA), S. Kabugo (SCVU), R. Kasagga (Kiira)
Midfielders: H. Wasswa (KCC), G. Kizito (Saigon - Vietnam), T. Mawejje (IBV - Iceland), M.Mutumba (AIK - Sweden), J. Mpande (Vipers), S. Kyeyune (URA), M. Oloya (Saigon - Vietnam), B. Majwega (KCC), K. Luwaga (Leixoes - Portugal), J.Kabagambe (El Merreikh al fashir - Sudan), P. Ochan (TP Mazembe).
Strikers: F. Kalanda (URA), E. Okwi (Etoile de Sahel - Tunisia), R. Ssentongo (St George - Ethiopia), H. Kiiza (Young Africans – TZ), G. Massa (Yenicami - Cyprus), V.Kayizzi (Lublin - Poland), I. Sekajja (C.Palace - England)
WED, AUGUST 14 (FRIENDLY)
Egypt vs. Uganda
World Cup qualifier
Saturday, September 7
Senegal vs. Uganda