Uganda U20 Hippos head coach Morley Byekwaso has selected up to 38 players who will start preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations U20 (AFCON) finals due February 14 – March 6, 2021 in Mauritania.
The Hippos sealed their maiden qualification for the tournament finals after emerging winners of the CECAFA U20 tournament held in Tanzania in December 2020.
Uganda defeated Tanzania in the final of the regional qualifiers. Tanzania will join Uganda as the representatives from the CECAFA region.
Majority of the players who played at the regional qualifiers have been maintained on the provisional squad that is expected to begin preparations for the tournament this week with residential camp at the Cranes Paradise Hotel in Kisaasi.
Proline FC’s Alpha Ssali, Ivan Bogere who was top scorer at the regional qualifiers, Isma Mugulusi, team captain Gavin Kizito, Steven Sserwadda and Ivan Asaba are some of the names that have been maintained on the team.
Vipers SC duo Bobosi Byaruhanga and defender Aziz Kayondo whose performance at the U20 qualifiers earned them a call up to the Cranes squad that is currently competing at the CHAN finals in Cameroon have also been selected.
The duo is expected to join the team after accomplishing their mission with the Cranes team in Cameroon.
The summoned squad includes two foreign based players. Lincoln City U-18 forward Nathan Odokonyero and Samuel Kitaka who plays for Loughborough University are some of the new faces on the summoned squad which also includes Kibuli SS defender Simon Baligeya. .
Meanwhile midfielder Andrew Kawooya, KCCA striker Sam Ssenyonjo and Police FC’s Derrick Kakooza who were included on the provisional squad but were dropped ahead of the CECAFA U20 tournament have been recalled to the team and the trio will be hoping they can impress the coaches this time around and book a trip to Mairitania.
The selected players are expected to report to camp on Wednesday, January 20, where they will undergo COVID-19 testing before they are admitted to camp.
The team is expected to hold its first training session on Thursday evening at the MTN Omondi Stadium in Lugogo.
Uganda U20 Hippos Provisional Squad
Goalkeepers: Jack Komakech (Ascent SA), Ronald Kiberu (Synergy FC), Delton Oyo (Busoga United FC), Denis Ssenyondwa Kaala (SC Villa),Daniel Ochama (Boro Boro Super Sport FC), Peter Kato (Super Cubs FC)
Defenders: Gavin Kizito Mugweri (SC Villa), Kenneth Semakula (Busoga United FC), Abdul Aziz Kayondo (Vipers SC), Musa Ramathan (KCCA FC) Joseph Kafumbe (KCCA FC), Robert Kitabalwa (Vipers SC), James Begisa Penz (UPDF FC), Simon Baligeya (Kibuli SS), Richard Bbosa (Express FC)
Midfielders: Isma Mugulusi (Busoga United FC), Najib Yiga (Vipers SC), Steven Sserwadda (KCCA FC), Bobosi Byaruhanga (Vipers SC), Umar Lutalo (Aspire Academy), Alou John Kokas (URA FC), Swamadu Okur (Kataka FC), Ivan Eyamu (Mbarara City FC), Andrew Kawooya ( KCCA FC), Ivan Asaba (Vipers SC), Davis Ssekajja (Bright Stars FC), Faisal Wabyoona (Big Talent SA).
Fowards: Ivan Bogere (Proline FC), Samuel Ssenyonjo (KCCA FC), Derrick Kakooza (Police FC), Richard Basangwa (Vipers SC), Nathan Odokonyero (Lincoln City FC U18-UK), Samuel Kitaka Moses (Loughborough University-UK), Joseph Bukenya Kizza (KCCA FC), Raymond Onyai (Mbarara City FC), Ashiraf Mulindi (Kataka FC), Emmanuel Mukisa (Kataka FC), Alpha Ssali Thierry (Proline FC)