Uganda Cranes officially kick-started their preparations for the forthcoming AFCON Qualifiers this month.
Uganda face Burkina Faso on March 24 at St Mary’s Stadium Kitende before traveling to Malawi for the final Group B game on March 25.
The team had a training session on Saturday morning at MTN Omondi Stadium in Lugogo.
Seventeen players attended the first session under coaches Abdallah Mubiru, Livingston Mbabazi (Assistant) and Fred Kajoba (Goalkeeping).
Cranes coach and Northern Irishman Johnathan Mckinstry was asked to step aside for a month by FUFA.
All the seven Uganda Premier League Players earlier summoned were in attendance alongside 10 from abroad.
New Mexico midfielder Mike Azira is buoyant: “We need to beat Burkina Faso. We just have to focus on ourselves, how we play and what the coaches say.”
“A win will set up everything, and when we win, we will be through but the group is still open, but we have to bank on the fact that we are at home.”
Azira said that the absence of Mckinstry is not their concern as players because they have no control over it.
Captain Denis Onyango, and fellow South African based players Moses Waiswa and Daniel Isiagi are yet to report to camp among others.
Uche Mubiru pulled out while Khalid Aucho was dismissed.
The match at Kitende will be officiated by Centre Referee Papa Gassama from Gambia, behind closed door.
Uganda need two points from the remaining two games to return to AFCON finals for a third straight attempt.
Players Who Trained On Saturday: Jamal Salim (Al Hilal, Sudan), Charles Lukwago(KCCA FC-Uganda), Kigonya Mathias ( Azam FC- Tanzania), Kizza Mustapha (DC Montreal- USA), Nico Wakiro Wadada (Azam, Tanzania), Lwaliwa Halid (Vipers SC-Uganda), Juuko Murushid (Express FC-Uganda), Kizito Mugweri Gavin (SC Villa- Uganda), Lwanga Taddeo (Simba SC- Tanzania), Michael Azira (New Mexico United-, USA), Allan Okello (Paradou, Algeria), Lumala Abdu (Pyramids FC- Egypt), Bobosi Byaruhanga (Vipers SC-Uganda), Orit Ibrahim (Vipers SC-Uganda), Emmanuel Arnold Okwi (Ittihad Alexandria, Egypt), Kaddu Patrick (Youssoufia Berrechid-Tunisia), Sentamu Yunus (Vipers SC-Uganda)
Players Yet To Arrive: Dennis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa), Mugabi Bevis (Motherwell FC- Scotland), Ronald Mukiibi(Ostersunds FK, Sweden), Timothy Denis Awany (Sport Club Ironi, Ashdod, Israel), Joseph Ochaya (TP Mazembe, Democratic Republic of Congo), Elvis Bwomono (Southend United, England), Miya Faruku (Konyaspor- Turkey), Kizito Luwagga (Hapoel Kfar Saba- Israel), Waiswa Moses (SupersportUnited-South Africa), Allan Kyambadde (El Gouna, Egypt), Fahad Bayo (Sport Club Ironi Ashdod, Israel), Isiagi Daniel (Jomo Cosmos-South Africa).
Pulled Out – Uche Mubiru Ikpeazu (Wycombe Wanderers, England)
Dismissed – Khalid Aucho (Misr Lel Makasa, Egypt),