Uganda U-20 football team head coach Jackson ‘Mia Mia’ Mayanja is optimistic his coached side has all it takes to make the 2023 World Cup slated for Indonesia.
The Hippos will first be involved in the 2023 African Cup Nations in Egypt and should they make the semi-finals, a spot in the World Cup will have been secured.
“From the time I was given the opportunity to be the coach of the Uganda Hippos, I made it clear that our goal was to qualify for the World Cup,” said Mayanja during the provisional squad announcement on Tuesday.
“I believe we can achieve it. I call upon all Ugandans to get behind the team and support us,” added the outspoken tactician.
Mayanja summoned an initial 50-man squad to kickstart preparations, and will later be trimmed before the tournament set for February 19.
“We are going to use this time to fully assess and examine the players and all decisions we shall make will be based on merit, meaning players must work hard to prove the technical team.”
The Hippos qualified for the second successive time after finishing as runners up in 2021 in Mauritania.
They are in Group B along with the Central African Republic, Congo Brazzaville, and South Sudan.
The tournament will run from February 19 to March 11 in Egypt, in the cities of Cairo, Ismailia, and Alexandria.