By Swalley Kenyi
AFTER dropping goalkeeper Brian Bwete from the Africa Nations Championship squad for and replacing him with Ali Kimera, Cranes coach Micho Sredojevic has attributed his decision to abundant football talent in Uganda.
Bwete was dropped following a day’s training and Kimera (SCVU) joined the camp on Saturday. He is expected to beef up the squad for the forthcoming tournament that starts in South Africa on January 11.
The tall and lean Kimera, was called to join the team as Micho struggles to choose his first choice between his posts.
Like Bwete, Kimera is however believed to have come to step up competition among Benjamin Ochan, Franco Oringa and Ismail Watenga. The Cranes train at Namboole and will break off for holidays on Tuesday.
For the last one week, Micho could not hide his joy about the team’s response to training and has since vowed to bring good results from the biennial tournament in South Africa.
“The boys are working really hard and the most important thing of all is that they have love for what they’re doing. In football it’s such a crucial aspect. Uganda is endowed with talents but the way of grooming those talent matters a lot,” Micho said.
“We’re building a strong team not only for this upcoming CHAN but also we’re looking ahead to 2015 African Cup of Nations as well as the 2018 FIFA World Cup.”
The 26-man squad resumed residential training at Sky Hotel International in Kyambogo on Friday.
Micho has identified Morocco as Uganda’s toughest in the CHAN Group B puzzle.
“Compared with us, we are underdogs to our opponents. Everyone who saw Raja (Casablanca) play will know that they are a serious team. Every player on that squad will be on the Morocco team,” Micho declared soon after the Moroccan outfit had lost 2-0 to Bayern.
Uganda Cranes is in Group B alongside Burkina Faso, Morocco and Zimbabwe. They will play their first match of the championships against the Burkinabe at Athlone Stadium on January 12 and face Morocco in their last group match.
Morocco are expected to assemble Raja Casablanca’s first team stars such as goalkeeper Khalid Askri, Zakaria El Hachimi, Adil Karrouchy, Issam Erraki, Abdelilah Hafidi, Mohsine Moutaouali and Mouhssine Iajour.
Goalkeepers: Ochan Benjamin (SCVU), Watenga Isamail (SC Vipers), Oringa Franco (Bul FC) and Kimera Ali (SCVU)
Defenders: Wadada Nicholas (SC Vipers), Iguma Denis (SCVU), Martin Mpuga (SCVU), Kasaga Richard (Kira Young), Muleme Isaac (SCVU), Kabugo Savio (SCVU), Ayub Kisalita (SC Villa), Namwanja Simon (Proline), Aloro Rogers (KCCA)
Midfielders: Ntambi Julius (Kira Young), Kyeyune Said (URA FC), Kyambade Allan (Express), Kayizi Vincent (SC Vipers), Mugerwa Yasser (SCVU), Brian Majwega (KCCA), Ivan Ntege (KCCA), Mpande Joseph (SC Vipers)