UPL boys’ day out in Turkey

Big Boy League. Byaruhanga (L) takes on Wakiso Giants Frank Ssebufu in a recent Uganda Premier League clash. Byaruhanga will look to produce the goods at the national team level, too. PHOTO / EDDIE CHICCO

What you need to know:

  • Only two foreign based players, goalkeepers to be specific, made the trip that will have the national team play three matches in Europe before shifting to Asia.

It is not everyday that Uganda Cranes get sparring sessions with European teams. Though the vibe and anticipation is knee-high amongst the fans, Uganda Cranes will this evening face Iceland in what has been dubbed as ‘build-up games, in Antalya, Turkey.

Only two foreign based players, goalkeepers to be specific, made the trip that will have the national team play three matches in Europe before shifting to Asia.

Strength of locals

Apart from Charles Lukwago (Saint George, Ethiopia) and Isma Watenga (Chippa United, South Africa), the rest of the squad is out on a mission to gauge the strength of the StarTimes Uganda Premier League that they ply their trade in.

Uganda Cranes coach Micho Sredojevic is of a high conviction that  playing a top team like Iceland (ranked 62nd  by Fifa) will be a monumental test for his players as he seeks to rebuild the national team.

“We are preparing a team that will play in several international engagements this year including the qualifiers for the TotalEnergies African Nations Championship,” Micho revealed before the team departed on Monday.

Worth noting in the assembled squad is the fact that members of the historic Afcon U-20 squad feature prominently and will surely be granted game time against Iceland.

Fortnight of action

Romanian club Botosani, Moldova, Iraq and Bahrain that Uganda Cranes are lined up to face in the upcoming fortnight. The matches, reportedly organised by Global Sport Management, left questions on the  composition of coach Arnar Vidarsson’s.

Iceland team that will be assembled today since most of their stars are in the top flight leagues that are still running.

Regardless, Micho will have ample time to polish the Cranes striking line that produced only two goals in six World Cup qualifying encounters gauging on forwards;  Patrick Kaddu, Muhammad Shaban, Steven Mukwala and Yunus Sentamu.

The Denis Onyango succession question, which had Micho experimenting  with Lukwago and Watenga between the sticks, will also seek redress with KCCA’s Benjamin Ochan joining the fray for this latest work-out.

FRIENDLIES - TODAY 5PM

Iceland vs. Uganda – Antalya, Turkey

The next matches

January 15: Botosani vs. Uganda – Antalya, Turkey

January 18: Moldova vs. Uganda – Antalya, Turkey

January 21: Iraq vs. Uganda – Baghdad

January 27: Bahrain vs. Uganda – Bahrain City

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.