Cranes head coach Sebastien Desabre has finally revealed the players that will represent Uganda at the forthcoming 2019 African Cup Of Nations (Afcon) continental showpiece.
Also, shirt numbers were handed out a few hours to the CAF set deadline.
A total of 27 players were involved in a two-week training camp in Abu Dhabi at the New York University stadium and were involved in a buildup match against Asian nation Turkmenistan, which ended in a goalless draw.
Despite keeping his choice for the final squad a secret till today morning, there have not been many surprises as 12 of the players that represented the country at the last edition of Afcon all making the final squad again.
Captain and first choice goalkeeper Dennis Masinde Onyango returns as are his deputies Robert Odongkara and Salim Jamal. The trio were at the 2017 Afcon edition.
Simba FC defender Murshid Juuko, left back Joseph Ochaya, Azam FC right back Nicolas Wadada and the experienced duo of Hassan Wasswa Mawanda and Godfrey Walusimbi, who despite being unattached to a club will be making their second appearance on the continent.
Ostersund based Ronald Mukiibi, who decided not to honour a call up for the Cranes in 2017, KCCA’s defender Timothy Awany, left back Isaac Muleme and Yeovil Town’s Bevis Mugabi will be the new faces in the Cranes backline.
In midfield, Mike Azira, William Kizito Luwagga, Khalid Aucho and Faruku Miya return for another AFCON tournament while Sweden based pacey winger Abdul Lumala, Allan Kateregga and Vipers’ Taddeo Lwanga do make the cut for their Afcon debuts.
There will be completely new faces for the Cranes upfront as goal hero Patrick Kaddu, Emmanuel Okwi, Allan Kyambadde, Derrick Nsibambi and Allan Kyambadde will be charged with getting the goals for the Cranes.
However, during the week, the team was dealt a huge blow as midfielder Moses Waisswa has to withdraw from the squad as he suffered a re-occurrence of a knee injury that has plagued him for much of the season.
Similarly, burly forward Alexis Bakka misses out on the final squad despite coming in with huge promise as he picked up an injury during the friendly against Turkmenistan. KCCA midfielder Ibrahim Saddam Juma is also left out as he has been down with malaria for the past week.
There is no place for Ethiopian based utility player Chrizestom Ntambi while goalkeeper Charles Lukwago who was on the waiting list is also left out.
The Cranes will play in their final build up game against 2015 champions Ivory Coast on June 15, before they head out for Egypt.
Final Cranes Squad (Shirt Numbers Included)
Denis Onyango (18)
Jamal Salim Magoola (19)
Robert Odongkara (1)
Murushid Jjuuko (4)
Bevis Mugabi (5)
Isaac Muleme (20)
Hassan Wasswa Mawanda (16)
Wakiro Nico Wadada (14)
Joseph Benson Ochaya (2)
Timothy Denis Awany (3)
Godfrey Walusimbi (15)
Ronald Mukiibi (12)
William Kizito Luwagga (10)
Khalid Aucho (8)
Mike Azira (23)
Faruku Miya (17)
Tadeo Lwanga (6)
Allan Kateregga (13)
Lumala Abdu (22),
Emmanuel Arnold Okwi (7)
Patrick Henry Kaddu (9)
Derrick Nsibambi (11)
Allan Kyambadde (21)