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Uganda Cranes: Five Uncapped Players Who Deserve CHAN Call-up

Jonathan Mckinstry and his technical team are set to name the Uganda Cranes squad that will start preparations ahead of the 2020 CHAN slated in Cameroon to be played on April 4-25.

CHAN is a biennial football tournament contested by 16 qualifying African national teams. The teams are composed exclusively of players who play in their countries’ national leagues.

Uganda is expected to name a similar lineup that conquered CECAFA and helped the team qualify to CHAN as well, but a few more surprises especially with Joel Madondo and Allan Okello out of the picture.

Here, we look at the players who have been playing well but have not been doing enough to get a national team call-up according to the past selectors.

The players listed below, in no particular order, have so far put up good performances in the ongoing 2019/20 season.

Feel free to add as many as you can, via our social media platforms.

Read – CHAN: Who Will Uganda Face?

Brian Aheebwa (Mbarara City FC)

Talk about waiting for the right time to strike and mention Aheebwa. He has for long been regarded as surplus to requirements at the club he helped clinch promotion in 2017.

He has been like an understudy in the past seasons, and when his time arrived, he has received the chance with open arms.

Brian Aheebwa. Mbarara City FC

Seven goals so far makes a big shout for striker at a time when the top favourites like Fahad Bayo are struggling to find a net despite impressive efforts in the first round.

It’s a tight race to get a spot on the CHAN team, given the variety at hand for Mckinstry like Steven Mukwala and Viane Ssekajugo.

He faces stiff competition with URA FC’s striker Cromwell Rwothomio for a spot.

Gift Ali Abubaker (KCCA FC)

He has been the beating heart of KCCA FC this season as the side strives to defend their league crown against favorites Vipers.

You can struggle to pick out his best performance in the league this season – A reminiscent of that objective question paper where all the four options (A-C) seem correct.

Gift Ali. KCCA

A clean tackler who is always well positioned to receive a pass from defence according to KCCA’s ‘our way’ style of play.

He gets everyone at KCCA involved thanks to his ability to win possession from opposition and supply forward. Always tracing back to help the three defenders that Mike Mutebi normally employs.

He uses his personal awareness, to stiffle attacks. A very powerful figure and leader who can boost Cranes’ surge in Cameroon. Faces stiff competition with Villa’s David Owori.

Also Read – Onduparaka, Villa Fined

Geoffrey Wasswa (Vipers SC)

He has played in the National junior teams at various levels, and a place on the senior team (CHAN for now) looks like a long overdue.

Wasswa, called Ramos by many, is a product of St Mary’s SS Kitende – He joined Vipers at a tender age of 16.

Geoffrey Wasswa. Vipers

Coming back from that horrific injury and put up this incredible performance this season is a movie script that should be climaxed with a National team call up.

He is a versatile player that can play almost everywhere in the defence and middle of the park. We don’t have many players of that kind in the country.

Very industrious, a leader and a good set piece taker as well.

Derrick Ndahiro (SC Villa)

He was summoned for the Rwanda National U23 team in 2018 but has since confirmed his loyalty to Uganda.

A roving left back, very attack minded and crafty, no wonder he is always employed to play in advanced positions.

Derrick Ndahiro. Courtesy photo

After Godfrey ‘Jajja Walu’ Walusimbi announced his official retirement from the national team last year, talk of the town has been who he is the right man to fill his boots.

Ndahiro may not be an immediate replacement, with players like Mustafa Kizza, Nicholas Wadada, Alex Kakuba above him in the pecking order, but he should be the long term plan.

Saidi Kyeyune (URA FC)

One of the most underrated players in the country. His abilities have been covered by the magical teammate Shafic Kagimu.

He, this season, has come out of his shell. He has added scoring to his game and everyone has started to recognise his big role. Six goals for a midfielder so far, is no mean feat.

Also Read – How URA FC Stopped Vipers

He has played for Cranes but inconsistently.

Saidi Kyeyune. URA

He partnership with Kagimu has been phenomenal as URA FC has frustrated all the big boys, and we would love to see that partnership in national colours.

Highly skillful, a defty touch, and also tracks back to give support to the defenders as he links the play to the forwards. He becomes a monster every time he crosses into the final third.

Notable Mentions – Fahad Kizito (Police FC), David Bagoole (Busoga United), Emmanuel Wasswa (SC Villa), Frank Ssenyondo (Express).


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