“Nobody will be gifted and awarded a place. As from now on the counter is on zero."
Uganda Cranes coach Milutin Sredojevic, best known as Micho, has cautioned his players to work hard if they to be on the final squad that will represent Uganda at the AFCON finals in Gabon early next year.
Micho made the remarks after releasing a 40-man squad for the preparations ahead of the Nations Cup.
That number will be trimmed down to 23 players.
"We selected a blend of experience and youth who are the future of Ugandan football,” said the Serbian tactician who guided The Uganda Cranes to the finals of the continent’s biggest football tournament for the first time in nearly four decades.
“Nobody will be gifted and awarded a place. As from now on the counter is on zero, where all 40 players are in healthy competition to earn and deserve to be in the final 23,” said Micho.
Some of the players on the released squad have started training.
Uganda is grouped with Mali and World Cup qualifiers rivals Ghana and Egypt. The last time The Cranes were at the Nations Cup, they lost 2-1 to Ghana in the 1978 final.
Goalkeepers: Denis Onyango , Robert Odongkara , Salim Jamal , Isma Watenga , Benjamin Ochan
Defenders: Dennis Iguma , Joseph Nsubuga , Nicholas Wadada ,Joseph Ochaya , Shafiq Batambuze, Isaac Isinde , Murushid Juuko, Ronald Mukiibi , Timothy Awanyi , Richard Kassaga , Halid Lwaliwa , Rashid Toha
Midfielders: Khalid Aucho , Tony Mawejje, Hassan Wasswa , Mike Azira, Geoffrey Kizito, Keziron Kizito, Muzamiru Mutyaba , Yasser Mugerwa , Sadam Juma, Moses Oloya , William Kizito Luwaga, Godfrey Walusimbi , Paul Mucureezi , Martin Kiiza, Vitalis Tabu
Strikers: Farouk Miya, Geoffrey Massa, Geoffrey Serunkuma , Shaban Mohammed, Yunus Sentamu, Derrick Nsibambi , Edrisa Lubega , Erisa Sekisambu