Uganda Cranes has unveiled its provisional squad of 36 players for the upcoming international break in October. Interim head coach Morley Byekwaso is tasked with leading the team, which includes a mix of experienced and emerging talent. The squad will prepare for two international friendly matches against Mali and Zambia, offering fans and football enthusiasts a glimpse of Uganda’s football prowess.
The provisional squad is well-rounded, comprising six goalkeepers, 10 defenders, 12 midfielders, and eight forwards. The selection process is a testament to the coaching staff’s commitment to striking a balance between defensive solidity, midfield creativity, and attacking firepower.
One of the notable features of the squad selection is the inclusion of emerging talent from the Ugandan Premier League (UPL). Three of the top goal scorers in the UPL have earned their spots in the national team. Fred Amaku of Maroons FC, Denis Omedi of Kitara FC, and Lawrence Tezikya of BUL FC have been given the opportunity to represent their country on the international stage. This move not only recognizes their individual achievements but also underscores the importance of nurturing local talent.
The squad showcases a blend of players plying their trade both domestically and abroad. Players competing in various international leagues, including Ethiopia, South Africa, Iceland, Israel, Spain, and the United States, have been selected. This diversity in experience is expected to enrich the team’s dynamics and foster a competitive spirit within the group.
Several key players are set to play pivotal roles for Uganda Cranes. In goal, the team boasts experienced shot-stoppers like Charles Lukwago and Joel Mutakubwa. The defensive line is anchored by solid performers such as Elvis Bwomono Okello and Abdu Aziizi Kayondo, who have been shining in international clubs. The midfield department includes seasoned campaigners like Khalid Aucho and rising stars like Isma Mugulusi. Upfront, the team will rely on the striking prowess of Denis Omedi and Fred Amaku.
The coaching staff, led by interim head coach Morley Byekwaso, is well-equipped to prepare the squad for the challenges ahead. Fred Muhumuza serves as the interim assistant coach, while Stephen Billy Kiggundu and Felix Ayobo take charge of goalkeeping and fitness coaching, respectively. The medical team, consisting of Ivan Ssewanyana and Emmanuel Nakabago, ensures that the players are in top physical condition throughout the campaign.
The Uganda Cranes will enter a residential camp at Cranes Paradise Hotel in Kisasi ahead of the international break. This camp will provide the players with an opportunity to bond, fine-tune their skills, and align their strategies for the upcoming friendlies. The matches against Mali and Zambia are crucial in terms of preparing the team for future competitions and gaining valuable experience against strong opponents.
The Provisional Squad
Goalkeepers: Nafian Alionzi Legason (Ethiopia Defence Forces FC, Ethiopia), Charles Lukwago (Hawassa City FC, Ethiopia), Joel Mutakubwa (BUL FC, Uganda), Isima Bin Rashid Watenga (Golden Arrows FC, South Africa), Jack Komakech (Vipers SC, Uganda), Derrick Ochan (KCCA FC, Uganda)
Defenders: Kenneth Semakula (SC Villa, Uganda), Gavin Kizito Mugweri (SC Villa, Uganda), Elvis Bwomono Okello (IBV Vestamanyaer, Iceland), Abdu Aziizi Kayondo (Hapoel Tel Aviv FC, Israel), Ibrahim Juma (CD Leganes, Spain), Halidi Lwaliwa (FK Bregalnica, North Macedonia), Livingstone Mulondo (Vipers SC, Uganda), Enock Walusimbi (URA FC, Uganda), Najib Fesali (URA FC, Uganda), Hudu Mulikyi (URA FC, Uganda)
Midfielders: Elvis Ngonde (SC Villa, Uganda), Ivan Irinimbabazi (Soltilo Bright Stars FC, Uganda), Bobosi Byaruhanga (Austin FC, USA), Fiat Cleophus (Soltilo Bright Stars FC, Uganda), Khalid Aucho (Yanga FC, Tanzania), Saidi Mayanja (KCCA FC, Uganda), Isma Mugulusi (Fereinse FC, Portugal), Arafat Usama Kizza (KCCA FC, Uganda), Ibrahim Kasule (New York Red Bull II, USA), Laban Tibiita (URA FC, Uganda), Bright Anukani (Vipers SC, Uganda), Rogers Mugisha (Gor Mahia FC, Kenya)
Forwards: Denis Omedi (Kitara FC, Uganda), Fred Amaku (Maroons FC, Uganda), Lawrence Tezikya (BUL FC, Uganda), Richard Basangwa (Wadi Degla SC, Egypt), Frank Ssebufu (New York Red Bull II, USA), Milton Karisa (Vipers SC, Uganda), Rogers Kassim Mato (Sanliurfaspor FC, Turkey), Simon Peter Oketch (Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, Ethiopia)
Officials: Interim Head Coach – Morley Byekwaso Ochama, Interim Assistant Coach – Fred Muhumuza, Interim Goalkeeping Coach – Stephen Billy Kiggundu, Interim Fitness Coach – Felix Ayobo, Team Physiotherapist – Ivan Ssewanyana, Team Doctor – Emmanuel Nakabago