Hosts Uganda Cranes have officially kicked off their preparations for the forthcoming 2019 CECAFA Senior Challenge cup due December 7-19.
The team, under coach Jonathan Mckinstry, held their first training session at StarTimes Stadium, Lugogo on Wednesday morning.
18 players showed up on the first day.
Karim Watambala (Vipers) and Kirizestom Ntambi (Wakiso Giants) didn’t turn up while KCCA and Proline FC summoned players will join the team after completing their first round games.
“It has been a wonderful session,” said Mckinstry. “I have been with most of these players in a regional tour held at Katakwi recently, so this has been a good start as we focussed mainly on possession.”
“This has been like a first day at school for some of these players and we handled the first page. I can’t teach them the whole book on their first day. These are different players and their learning levels is different.”
The Cranes are pitted in Pool A alongside Burundi, Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Kenya are the defending champions after winning it on home soil in 2017.
The Cranes players who trained on Wednesday:
Goalkeeper: James Alitho (URA), Joel Mutakubwa (Kyetume FC), Jack Komakech (Football for Good), Keni Saidi (SC Villa)
Defender: Paul Willa (Vipers SC), Ashraf Mandela (URA FC), Disan Galiwango (Express FC), Halid Lwaliwa (Vipers SC), Paul Mbowa (URA FC)
Midfielders: Shafiq Kagimu (URA FC), Hassan Ssenyonjo (Wakiso Giants FC), Joachim Ojera (URA FC)
Strikers: Ben Ocen (Police FC), Vianne Ssekajjugo (Wakiso Giants FC), Allan Kayiwa (Vipers SC), Joel Madondo (Busoga United FC), Fahad Bayo (Vipers SC), Stephen Mukwala (Maroons FC).