Uganda Cranes Fixtures (Group B)
- Uganda Vs Zambia – 14th January 2018 (Marrakech)
- Uganda Vs Namibia – 18th January 2018 (Marrakech)
- Uganda Vs Ivory Coast – 22nd January 2018 (Marrakech)
The Uganda Cranes head coach Sebastien Desabre confirmed the final 23 man team for the 2018 Championship of Africa Nations (CHAN) tournament on Wednesday morning moments after Uganda’s 1-0 fall to Congo in the final build up in Rabat.
Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Football Club leads the cast of players with 8 on the final team.
Vipers follows with four players, Sports Club Villa Jogoo has three as Proline, Police and Bright Stars have two each.
Express has one on the final team ready to face Cote D’Ivoire, Zambia and Namibia in group B.
Kawowo Sports‘ David assesses each of the 23 players on the team ahead of the biennial championship that only accommodates locally based players.
Benjamin Ochan (Kampala Capital City Authority Football Club):
Benjamin Ochan was born on 18th September 1989. He is one of the three goalkeepers on the team.
He is the first choice at Kampala Capital City Authority Football Club but had of late played second fiddle to Charles Lukwago at club level in the past four league matches.
He is one of the most experienced players on the Uganda Cranes team in Morocco since this will be his second time to play at the CHAN finals after earlier edition in South Africa.
Ochan is an excellent team leader with awesome game reading instincts. He has an enviable drop ball with good one against one stops. He is also a ball playing goalkeeper with great decision making attributes and potential of room to improve on crosses.
He has previously played at Entebbe Young, KKL, Super Cubs, Sports Club Villa Jogoo, Sports Club Victoria University and lately KCCA.
Isma Watenga (Vipers Sports Club):
Watenga was born on 15th May 1995. He is a 6 feet plus goalkeeper with great aerial awareness.
He has been Vipers first choice goalkeeper for the past couple of seasons. Watenga’s prowess as a goalkeeper lies along the great game reading, ability to thwart all aerial threats with ease and comfortability on the ball.
He will mark his second appearance at the CHAN finals following the 2016 edition in Rwanda where a shoulder injury cut short his tournament in the match after just one game.
Saidi Keni (Proline FC):
Saidi Keni was born and raised in the football hub of Lugazi. Over the past three seasons, Keni has been Proline Football Club’s first choice goalkeeper.
He is a graduate from the Uganda U-23 National team (The Hippos).
His consistence at club level with outstanding individual displays won him more admirers and the praise of the goalkeeping coach, Fred Kajoba.
The bow-legged goalkeeper is a good game reader and has the command with good aerial presence.
He is likely to be the third choice in the pecking order behind Ochan and Watenga at CHAN 2018.
Nico Wakiro Wadada (Vipers Sports Club):
Wadada was born in Mbale on 27th July 1994. He is the team captain at Vipers Sports Club and no doubt translates leadership trait and the effortless display to the national team.
He is most senior on this team having played on the main stream team for a couple of years. He is the first choice at the right back department that also has SC Villa’s Joseph Nsubuga.
Wadada’s pace, passion and life are key pillars to his individual game.
He also played at three previous CHAN championships in South Africa and Rwanda.
Joseph Nsubuga (Sports Club Villa Jogoo):
Joseph Nsubuga was born on 9th October 1996. He is right back at Sports Club Villa Jogoo.
Endowed with the size, Nsubuga’s game has improved for the better over time. The Former Bright Stars player is surely Wadada’s understudy at the right back slot but has proven that will fill the void given time and assurance.
He is excellent at playing the diagonal ball with room of improvement on man marking.
Isaac Muleme (Kampala Capital City Authority FC):
Isaac Muleme was born on 10th October 1992. He is another vastly experienced player on the team having played with the main stream Uganda Cranes team and at two previous CHAN tournaments in South Africa and Rwanda.
He is one of the best technically gifted players on the team with awesome positional discipline, ability to execute the short and long diagonal balls with potential to improve on man marking.
Muleme is one of the eight KCCA players on the final team.
Aggrey Madoi (Police FC):
Aggrey Madoi is young and full of energy. He is left back at Police Football Club. After featuring at the CECAFA 2017 Tournament in Kenya, coaches have given a benefit of a doubt to the CHAN tourney.
He is Muleme’s natural understudy at left back.
Timothy Dennis Awanyi (Kampala Capital City Authority FC):
Awanyi was born on 6th August 1996. He is one of the young players on the team with CHAN experience having played at the previous edition in Rwanda where he was deployed as a second defensive midfielder.
The KCCA defender is excellent at heading the ball and a good game reader as well.
He is a graduate from the famous COPA Coca Cola schools’ championship where he was exceptional at the heart of the Kibuli S.S defence before KCCA came calling for his treasured signature.
Bernard Muwanga (Sports Club Villa Jogoo)
Bernard Muwanga was born on 25th August 1993. He is the Sports Club Villa Jogoo captain. For his awesome and unquestionable leadership instincts, he was as well named the CHAN team captain right from the qualifiers.
He has captained Uganda as well at the CECAFA championships. He is robust but effective. Good man marker, header of the ball and executor of the timely clearances with ability to improve on decision making.
Mujuzi Mustapha (Proline FC)
A graduate from the Uganda U-20 team that played at the COSAFA U-20 championship, Mustapha is one of the new faces on the national team.
In the pecking order, the Proline well built defender is behind Awany and captain Muwanga, but has shown lots of potentiality in man marking, heading the ball and confident team building from the backline.
Tadeo Lwanga (Vipers SC)
He is also known as the ‘Engineer’ given his electrical engineering academic success at Makerere University back in the years.
Lwanga is a hard tackling and decent passer of the ball. He thrives in most playing formations on a football field.
The Vipers’ player is as hard working as a queen bee in a busy hive.
Ibrahim Sadam Juma (Kampala Capital City Authority FC):
Ibrahim Sadam Juma was born on 1st October 1993.
His playing style defines a contemporary creative play maker any football coach would wish to have to his side.
He is confident on the ball, elegant, blessed with an awesome first touch on the ball, can execute short and long passes, a decent dribbler and has of late perfected the dead ball expertise.
Sadam also has the ability to ghost behind the main strikers to play the half nine role.
Muzamiru Mutyaba (Kampala Capital City Authority FC):
Born 10th October 1993, Muzamiru Mutyaba is a darling to watch. Like Sadam, Mutyaba is also a KCCA play maker.
He is the reigning Airtel-FUFA footballer of the year, 2017. He is confident once the ball is on his foot with a keen eye for that surprise defence splitter.
Milton Karisa (Vipers SC):
Milton Karisa was born on 27th July 1995. The directness and pace from the former BUL wideman has given many an opposition member a good run of his treasured pennies.
Karisa is of late polishing on the finishing touch and the delivery when he out paces opponents on the famous by-line.
Abubaker Kasule (Express FC):
At 18 years, Abubakar Kasule is arguably the youngest members on the team.
Like defender Mustapha Kizza and goalkeeper Keni Saidi, Kasule is a graduate from the Uganda U-20 team (The Hippos) which recently took part in the COSAFA tournament in Zambia.
He covers lots of spaces and loves to pass around the ball with good tackling skills just like many anchormen.
Kasule has lots of time and room to improve given his age and enthusiasm to play the beautiful game.
Allan Kyambadde (SC Villa Jogoo):
Allan Kyambadde was born on 15th January 1996 to Barbra Tenya and Matthew Ssembusi.
The creative midfielder has re-discovered the old form that witnessed him win the Uganda footballer of the year gong back in 2015.
He is blessed with artistry, innovativeness and pace as he orchestrates runs as well as dribbles under the very minimal spaces accorded.
The SC Villa Jogoo midfielder is a hard worker and team player as well once granted with the freedom of expression.
Moses Waiswa (Vipers):
Stylish and an entertainer in his game, Waiswa is another great midfielder for the Uganda Cranes team.
His enviable chip of the ball has enabled him to perfect the supply of the ball in all ranges, and in abundance.
He is a team player whose work rate is improving time over and again to perfect the missing link in his game.
Paul Mucureezi (KCCA FC):
Paul Mucureezi was born to Reverand father on 11th February 1993.
He is best remembered for the splendid four goals against South Sudan in the first round of the CHAN 2018 qualifiers at the KCCA Stadium, Lugogo.
At attacker who thrives best off the wings with a decent cross and shot at goal. He is a team player and a workaholic.
Rahmat Senfuka (Police F.C):
Soft spoken albeit hard working on the field of play, Rahmat Senfuka defines an all attack thinking midfielder.
The Police Football club is one of the two players from the peace keeping club (alongside Aggrey Madoi).
Like the other creative midfielders on the team Sadam Juma, Allan Kymabadde and Muzamiru Mutyaba, Senfuka too, is elegant and a darling to watch.
He manvoures with ease under minimal spaces at blistering pace.
Sheif Batte (Bright Stars):
Sheif Batte was born on 25th November 1996 to Isma and Amina Batte in Kazo, Kampala.
A wild card on the final Uganda Cranes 23 man team at CHAN 2018 tournament in Morocco, Batte is a promising youngster.
The Bright Stars wide man is so hardworking on the field of play that he will sweat off the shins, wear and tear the opponents apart and still deliver the goods home.
Until two years ago, Batte was a center forward with Stegota in the Kampala Region league as he scored an amazing 21 goals in one season.
He is always willing to learn.
Batte has previously played for Super Eagle F.C, Kazo, Kazo Academy, KKL and lately Stegotta F.C, before crossing to Bright Stars, his current team.
Derrick Nsibambi (Kampala Capital City Authority FC):
Derrick Nsibambi was born on 19th June, 1994. He is a natural striker with predatory instincts.
Nsibambi has a great first touch on the ball, can shoot at all ranges and above all, holds the ball well to involve other teammates into play.
His strongest weapon is that amazing leap that he has optimally mastered and applied the art to head the ball powerfully towards the goal.
He is among the many KCCA players on the team.
Muhammad Shaban (Kampala Capital City Authority FC)
He is baptized Deldon Jaggarson.
Shocked many doubters when he made the grade for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Gabon.
A graduate from the famous Airtel U-17 Rising stars programme, Shaban also played for Vipers Youth team in the FUFA U-17 juniors league.
The KCCA forward then featured for the Uganda U-17 team that took part in the CAF Youth qualifiers. He ascended the ladder to the Uganda Cranes senior team, and was recently handled the captain’s arm band for the national U-20 Team (Hippos).
He was top scorer at the 2017 COSAFA U-20 tournament in Zambia where Uganda finished fourth.
He loves to shoot and operates best off the shoulders off the defenders.
Nelson Senkatuka (Bright Stars FC):
Nelson Senkatuka was born on September 10, 1997 in Kampala.
The Mbogo clan player is currently employed at Bright Stars Football Club in the Uganda Premier League where he is also the team captain.
Senkatuka is another soft spoken yet hard working character on the field of play.
He is an orthodox styled center forward whose agility and pace have attributed to his meteoric rise over the years.
Senkatuka recently scored his first goal for Uganda Cranes during the one all draw with Guinea in an international build up match played in Morocco.
Standing at 1.79 M tall, Senkatuka begun his career at Hope Doves FC in Kampala where he spent two seasons and played for Erith and Belvedere in the United Kingdom.
He returned home and featured at KCCA before leaving for Proline last season.
The 41 year old Frenchman gets to work at Uganda Cranes in his first tournament as head coach of a nationa team for the first time in his life.
It will be a stern test for the tactician whose working team is all composed of local coaches – Fred Kajoba (Goalkeeping coach) and Mathias Lule (Assistant coach).
In the test matches, Uganda Cranes drew one all with Guinea before losing 1-0 to Congo. Both matches were played in Rabat, Morocco.
Mathias Lule is the immediate assistant coach to head coach Sebastien Desabre.
He is christened Salongo, loosely translated as father of twins.
Lule has been part of the Uganda Cranes coaching team since the departure of former coach Micho.
The former international, a robust defender during his active playing days has special expertise in player development with a couple of courses undertaken in Sweden, Netherlands and Germany.
Lule is not only radical, strict but also a hands on tactician. He is expected to help Desabre a lot of help as the French coach continues with the acclimatization process.
He has previously coached at Entebbe, Express, Stand FC (Tanzania), Uganda U-17 national team and he is the current Uganda U-20 head coach.
One of the longest serving members on the technical team for Uganda Cranes. Kajoba is the goalkeeping coach who has served for close to 13 years.
He is vastly knowledgeable with the ABC of goalkeeping, head coach at Uganda Premier League club – Bright Stars and casts a father – like stature to all players.
His awesome relationship with players has in the long run reaped dividends for the team as whole.
He was also once a goalkeeper for the Uganda Cranes at the apex of his playing career.
Ronald Kisolo (Team Doctor):
Long serving team doctor for over 25 years. Soft spoken, hands on and so hard working.
Ivan Ssewanyana (Physio)
Ivan Ssewanyana is another hard working icon on the team.
He is a specialist in sports physio practicing with Uganda Cranes and domestically with KCCA FC.
His interaction with the players is a top notch and remains among the most loved staff over the years with the ever jovial face.
Ssewanyana has also worked at Rubaga Hospital, IHK, Sim’s Medical Centre and Sports Club Victoria University.
He has a Public Health Degree.
Saidi Lugolobi (Kits Manager):
Lugolobi is the kits manager for the Uganda National teams.
The well built gentleman, a former amateur played who featured at City Cubs and Natete football clubs is a diligent individual.
He is a true unsung hero.
Joseph Kasana (Team Coordinator):
Kasana is the team coordinator. He is such an organized entity that he translates the simple and complicated work tasks into reality in a systematic and timely way.
Ahmed Hussein (Media Officer):
For starters, Ahmed Hussein is also the FUFA Communications manager.
The former Sanyu F.M sports presenter has steadily and gradually mastered the art of communication in a timely and orderly format.
He is a beneficiary of the CAF specialized training for federation public relations officers at the state of art school in Douala, Cameroon.