CHAN 2020: Aheebwa hopes to carry club form to the national team

KCCA FC striker Brian Aheebwa is in top form as far as his club is concerned and he hopes to carry the same performance to the national team at the African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Cameroon.

Aheebwa has scored seven league goals and leads the scorers’ charts after five games and also played his part as KCCA were eliminated from the CAF Confederations Cup qualifierd by Rwandan side AS Kigali.

Aheebwa scored a hat-trick on his continental debut in KCCA’s 3-1 win over Kigali at the St. Mary’s, Kitende last week but unfortunately it was not enough for the Kasasiro Boys to advance having lost the first leg 2-0. KCCA FC bowed out on away goals rule following a 3-3 stalemate on aggregate.

Given the CAF engagement with his club side, the 22-year-old missed the pre-CHAN mini tournament but has since joined the Cranes camp in Cameroon.

“First things first, I am thankful to God that I have had a good run at club level,” Aheebwa said after the Cranes training session on Monday.

“It gives me extra confidence as a player and I hope for the same with the national team,” he added.

“This is a big opportunity and honour for me to play for the national team and this is a challenge I have been waiting for,” Aheebwa noted.

A move to KCCA from Mbarara City FC at the start of the current season and hitting form at the right time came as a blessing to the young striker.

Aheebwa was previously part of the initial squads that were summoned in preparation for the 2016 and 2018 CHAN tournaments but didn’t make the final squads under coaches Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic and Sebastien Desabre.

But with patience and percevearance, Aheebwa kept heart that perhaps his opportunity was not far away and since McKinstry took charge, the forward has been a regular inclusion in the Irishman’s squads.

The forward was an unused substitute in both ties against South Sudan in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in November 2020.

He’ll tussle it out with Vipers SC striker Muhammad Shaban and Police’s Ben Ocen for a starting berth in the tournament that gets underway on January 16.

Uganda who are pitted in Group C with neighbours Rwanda, reigning champions Morocco and West African giants Togo will kick off against Rwanda on January 18.

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