By Fred Kaweesi
With dust from the just concluded 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign fast-settling, Micho Sredojevic has shifted focus and presented FUFA a five-phase plan that —if followed —should earn Uganda remarkable success on two fronts.
Apart from guaranteeing an impressive run-out during the Africa Nations Championships in South Africa next year, the Serbian’s plan also highlights the 2015 Africa Nations Cup campaign.
“He has worked on a good plan that highlights key issues. The document will be discussed in a FUFA EXCO meeting before implementation starts,” a source that preferred anonymity disclosed on Thursday.
The strategy that will be worked on in consultation with a yet to be named backroom technical team, will also adequately prepare the U-17 and U-20 teams for the youth qualifiers due next year.
In summary, the five-phase plan involves reviewing Uganda Cranes’ previous failed 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign, highlighting the challenges, negatives and positives that were derived on the road to Morocco where Cranes’ run ended.
According to reliable source, the plan also considers basic activities such as assessment of local players for the CHAN tournament, weekly training sessions for the national team in the course of the next three months as well as assessment of players in the diaspora.
This, a minimum of two friendly games in October and November and the CECAFA Challenge Cup have been deemed sufficient enough to prepare the Cranes team for the three-week tournament in South Africa.
When New Vision contacted Micho on the latest roadmap, all he could say was: “I cannot comment on anything because everything needs institutional approval.
When everything has been approved, the right people or leadership will communicate officially,” he said.
Two months ago, Micho told New Vision on how he was working hard to secure Cranes a training base in South Africa, two weeks before the CHAN tournament starts in January. “I want to prepare the CHAN team in the best possible way,” Micho hinted back then.
Morocco 2015 and youth competitions
But while the Serbian will have one eye on the championship in South Africa, the other eye according to Phase Four and Five will be closely monitoring proceedings in the 2015 Africa Nations Cup, U-17 and U-20 qualifiers.
Unlike in the past where qualifiers have run the course of approximately a year, the 2015 qualifiers will be held in just three months (September, October and November). And for that reason, Micho is aware that he will need a pool of over 30 players to successfully negotiate the fixture congestion.
To achieve this, he will identify the best performers from the CHAN team and bind them with the cream from the diaspora before September when Cranes play their first Nations Cup qualifier.
The draws will be held in March next year and Uganda has been placed in Pot two, alongside Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Senegal, Cameroon, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Gabon, Uganda, Congo and CAR.