Uganda national football team, the Uganda Cranes set foot in Egypt o Monday evening as they plan to embark on the forthcoming African Cup of Nations (AFCON) due June 19 – July 21.
The Cranes arrived at the Cairo International Airport, Egypt aboard Egypt Air from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates where they had camped for three weeks in preparation for Africa’s biggest football show piece.
A delegation of 23 players and 10 officials were received by officials from Uganda’s embassy in Egypt, Minister for youth and head of Uganda’s contingent for AFCON, Nakiwala Kiyingi and FUFA president Moses Magogo upon arrival in Egypt.
The team will reside at the five-star Radisson Blu Hotel-Heliopolis in the Egyptian capital of Cairo and are expected to hold a recovery training session today evening ahead of their opening game against DR Congo on Saturday.
Upon arrival, Uganda Cranes head coach, Sebastian Desabre said his charges will have to maintain their unison in the AFCON finals if they are to have a successful campaign in Egypt.
The Frenchman had earlier indicated that their target will be to qualify for the knock out phase of the tournament and stressed that they can achieve their objective given the performances exhibited during the camp in Abu Dhabi and the build-up games.
The Cranes have so far engaged in two friendly matches against Turkmenistan and Ivory Coast, registering a barren draw and a 1-0 win respectively.
“At this level, we are ready with the organization and the talents. There is need for cohesion coupled with the individual players to work for the best desired results,” said Desabre
“We played the match against Ivory Coast in situations. It was a perfect game to assess some players and the team is ready for the Afcon finals first game.”
“There was a positive attitude throughout the match, the most important (thing) for us is to work as one complete unit with good coordination and focus. Winning in football is important for the mental preparedness of the team,” He added.
The Cranes are in Group A and will start their campaign against DR Congo on Saturday, June 22, before playing Zimbabwe on June 26 and later on hosts Egypt on June 30.
Cranes AFCON Continent:
Goalkeepers: Denis Onyango, Jamal Salim Magoola, Robert Odongkara
Defenders: Nicolas Wadada, Ronald Ddungu Mukiibi, Murushid Jjuuko, Bevis Mugabi, Isaac Muleme, Hassan Wasswa, Joseph Ochaya, Timothy Awanyi, Godfrey Walusimbi
Midfielders: Mike Azira, William Kizito Luwagga, Khalid Aucho, Farouk Miya, Abdul Lumala, Tadeo Lwanga, Allan Kateregga
Strikers: Patrick Kaddu, Derrick Nsibambi, Allan Kyambadde, Emma Okwi
Leader of Delegation: Hon. Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi
FUFA President: Moses Magogo
Executive Committee Members: Issa Magola, Hamid Juma, Abdul Ssekabira, Rogers Byamukama
Head coach: Sebastien Desabre
Assistant coach: Mathias Lule
Goalkeeper coach: Fred Kajoba
Team Doctor: Dr. Ronald Kisolo
Physiotherapist: Dr. Ivan Ssewanyana
Team Chiropractor: Dr. Charles Sebwana
MediaOfficer: Ahmed Hussein
Physical Fitness trainer: Gerome D’Antonio
Kit Managers: Lawrence Kizito and Ayub Balyejus
Finance Director: Decolas Kiiza