KAMPALA: The Uganda Cranes’ preparations for the Total AFCON Finals 2019 got underway on Monday with a preliminary squad of 19 players entering residential camp at Kabira Country Club, Bukoto.
While attending the first ever Media session (Question and Answer), the Uganda Cranes Coach Sebastien Desabre told the press that he started with locally based players who are not in action since the season took the break.
The residential camp will take a fortnight in which period two practice games will be played on Thursday 23rd May against the COSAFA bound Cranes and the second one on the 25th May 2019 with a team yet to be known at Mandela National Stadium, Namboole.
I will name the list of 26 players on 21st May 2019 (including foreign-based players) for the Abudabhi camp from which 23 players will make the final Squad to Egypt for the AFCON Finals.
The Cranes will play two friendly matches against an unnamed opponent on 9th June 2019 and then with Ivory Coast on 15th June 2019 before flying to Cairo.
Q and A with Desabre
Media: Can you brief us on players like Hassan Wasswa and Godfrey Walusimbi who aren’t engaged with any clubs this year. Are you not concerned about their fitness or you have a special programme for them?
Sebastien Desabre: After the Tanzania game we put in place a methodology to monitor all players like Hassan Wasswa and Walusimbi Godfrey where we get routine feedback about their progress on fitness levels. We have also been monitoring players who were recovering from an injury like Sadam Juma and Moses Waiswa.
Media: Don’t you have some other options than considering players who haven’t been active?
Sebastien Desabre: For me, the most important issue is preparing the boys to get ready for the game. Our job is to prepare players for the official date which is 22nd June 2019. Many players had their seasons end early and I’m sure they don’t share the same fitness levels but then we shall prepare them for the six weeks we are to spend with them and by the time of the first game, they will all be on the level.
Media: You have named two squads-AFCON and COSAFA. Will you take charge of all the two teams?
Sebastien Desabre: I can’t take charge of the two teams. We have coaches who were appointed to take charge of the COSAFA team and those are Abdallah Mubiru as head coach assisted by Morley Byekwaso, Sadiq Wassa as the goalkeeping coach while Geoffrey Massa as Team Coordinator.