By Fred Kaweesi, chief football writer
Africa Nations Championship
Uganda v Burkina Faso
Zimbabwe v Uganda
Morocco v Uganda
Cranes’ Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) squad is fast-taking shape. Just days after Cranes’ technical staff had celebrated striker Francis Olaki’s return to fitness, there has been even more excitement with the surprising return of Denis Iguma.
The SC Victoria University captain, who had been out of competitive football for the last two months recovering from an ankle injury, was expected to be on the side-lines recovering from an operation he was due to undergo in Dubai.
However, after medical advice, Iguma is not only back to full training; he is determined to spearhead Cranes’ assault in the CHAN tournament due in South Africa in January.
“I feel a lot better now. The injury was not as serious as we thought. The doctors looked at the scan and assured me that all would be fine.
“I have since trained well and am looking forward to the championship. I want to guide the team because its just me and Ayub Kisalita that played in the previous tournament in Sudan,” Iguma told New Vision on Saturday.
Cranes coach Micho Sredojevic was understandably delighted with Iguma’s return because the 21-year-old is ‘three players in one’.
Iguma does not only offer cover at the heart of defence and right-back, he also adjusts and fits well into the holding midfield position.
In the build-up to the CECAFA Challenge Cup, Micho opted for KCCA midfielder Tom Matsiko and URA’s Oscar Agaba in the friendly games against Victoria University and Rwanda.
But what the two games exposed was that Cranes were likely to struggle in the absence of Hassan Wasswa (who moved to Vietnam) and Iguma (who had been injured) — two players that had offered the team an imposing presence in the team’s engine room during the two-leg CHAN qualifiers against Tanzania.
During the CECAFA tournament, Micho opted for Khalid Aucho and Geoffrey Kizito.
But the two players will not be available for CHAN -as the tournament is meant for players that ply their trade in domestic leagues.
“I am happy that Iguma is back. That gives me good cover. I can begin drafting my side. At the moment, all that I am trying to do in the next few days is improve the players’ fitness levels,” Micho pointed.