By Baker Lwesabula
As days continue drawing closer to the much waited 2017 Africa Cup of Nations finals, the Uganda cranes players have assured Uganda to believe that their team (Cranes) can progress to quarter finals of Africa’s biggest football competitions set to commerce next month
Addressing journalists after today’s training the South African based Ugandan central midfielder Khalid Aucho stated that teams are undermining Uganda as an underdog but their exhibition will prove them wrong.
“We are going to fight hard to progress out of the group stages to reach quarter finals , Uganda has ever played against all those teams in the group and we are not scared of them” said Baroka FC’ Aucho.
The highly waited 2017 FCON finals are expected to start on January 14, 2017 with hosts Gabon playing Guinea Bissau Well as Uganda cranes which is placed in Group D together with Ghana, Mali and Egypt will kick start their tournament against Ghana Black Stars at the Port Gentil Stadium on 17th January.
Uganda’s second game will be against the Egypt on 21st January in Port Gentil before playing Mali in the last group game on the 25th January 2017 in Oyem.
The former Simba FC (From Tanzania) midfielder who reported to camp yesterday together with team captain Geoffrey Massa who also doubles as his team at Baroka FC in South Africa and Mike Azira of Colorado Rapids in the Major League Soccer of USA will face stiff competition for the final 23 squad that will leave for Gabon.
He will have to beat Hassan Wasswa Mawanda (Vipers, Uganda), Muzamiru Mutyaba (KCCA, Uganda), Tonny Mawejje (Thotur,Iceland), Iguma Denis, and Mike Azira (Colorado Rapids (USA) to be included on the traveling squad.
Cranes has not played at the AFCON finals for close to 39 years since the 1978 finals held in Ghana (Cranes lost 2-0 to hosts Ghana in the finals).
FULL TEAM IN CAMP
Goalkeepers: Isma Watenga (Vipers, Uganda), Benjamin Ochan (KCCA, Uganda), Salim Jamal Magoola (El Meriekh Sudan)
Defenders: Ronald Mukiibi (Östersunds FK, Sweden), Denis Iguma (Al Ahed, Lebanon), Nicholas Wadada (Vipers, Uganda), Joseph Ochaya (KCCA, Uganda), Shafiq Batambuze (Tusker, Kenya), Isaac Isinde (St George,
Ethiopia), Timothy Awany (KCCA, Uganda), Murshid Juuko (Simba,Tanzania) ,
Midfielders: Hassan Wasswa Mawanda (Vipers, Uganda), Muzamiru Mutyaba (KCCA, Uganda), Godfrey Walusimbi (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Abdulmalick Vitalis Tabu (SC Villa Jogoo, Uganda), Tonny Mawejje (Thotur,Iceland)
Aucho (Baroka FC, South Africa ), Mike Azira (Colorado Rapids, USA)
Strikers: Geofrey Sserunkuma (KCCA, Uganda), Muhammed Shaban (Onduparaka, Uganda), Yunus Sentamu (Ilves, Finland), Derrick Nsibambi (KCCA, Uganda), Edrisa Lubega (Proline, Uganda), Geoffrey Massa (Baroka, South Africa)