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Mckinstry Justifies Absence of KCCA players, Inclusion of Hippos Trio

Uganda Cranes Head Coach Jonathan Mckinstry has accounted for the exclusion of KCCA FC players in the provisional squad for CHAN.

The gaffer has named a 28-man team set to start training for the CHAN Finals.

None of the KCCA FC players made the selection, with Mckinstry saying that he wants to give them ample time to prepare and face As Kigali in CAF Confederation Cup.

The Northern Irishman has stated that a selection of KCCA players will join the CHAN team at a later date in January.

“Overall we feel confident in the group, obviously these 28 players don’t include any of the KCCA FC players because we want KCCA to focus on their upcoming CAF Confederation Cup game against AS Kigali,” Mckinstry said.

“Yes we acknowledge that this limit our preparations a little bit. As a national team coach, we would want to have all our players from day one of our training camp but equally we want our club teams to be successful in continental competitions, so for us we are supporting KCCA as they try to push forward in their competition as we would support any Ugandan team in continental competition.

“Ultimately Its neither FUFA nor KCCA’s fault that the games have a run over crush, its just a way the schedule put together by CAF at the top end and its a hard challenge we have to deal with and overcome.

“But the players will be joining us later from KCCA will be selected at the beginning of January. It (absence of KCCA players) gives ultimately other players a chance in this early phase of preparation to prove that they deserve a place in final squad.”

Uganda was invited for a Pre-Chan mini tournament due January 1-7, 2021 in Cameroon alongside hosts, Zambia and Niger

The squad also include three outstanding players of Uganda U20 Cecafa winners Aziz Kayondo, Bobosi Byaruhanga and
Ivan Bogere

Bogere was a joint top scorer at the CECAFA U20 Challenge Cup with five goals tied with Tanzania’s Abdul Hamisi Suleiman.

Mckistry says, the trio deserved a great chance to expose their talent to the world.

He explained: “We felt it was important that there is clear path way, we have already demonstrated over the last year that a few of our top performers in CHAN national team will get the opportunity to perform on Senior team in Afcon and world cup qualifiers but we also felt that the top U20 players will be given the opportunity to shine on CHAN team because ultimately its what CHAN is all about, its about young players getting that exposure, showing their talent to the world and potentially launching a very successful carrier for themselves.”

“We felt those boys were in perfect position to be given a chance and a true given encouragement to other boys in the U20 and other youth national teams that if they perform and continue to progress they will also get their chance to step up and compete with their senior brothers in men National team.”

Notably, Shaban Muhammed and veteran midfielder Tony Mawejje have been included.

“Across the board, we believe that we got a good mix of young talented players as well as a few experienced heads that not only can perform themselves but also help to guide and advise the young players on the squad as we look to make progress in the tournament,” he added.

The participants of the Pre CHAN tourney are expected in Cameroon on December 29, 2020.

Uganda will kickoff the CHAN Preparations on Monday.

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