As Uganda Cranes head coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic summoned a 35-man provisional squad for the forthcoming African Nations Championship (CHAN), he called none of the Uganda Premier League leading goal scorers.
However, Bright Stars FC striker Nelson Senkatuka who is the UPL’s joint leading goal scorer so far with Maroons FC’s Fred Amaku with seven goals was later summoned and took part in the Thursday morning training session at MTN Omondi stadium, Lugogo.
In the aftermath of the training session, Micho to www.football256.com that injury concerns forced him to look into his long list of 40 names submitted.
“When we made the team, we submitted 40 names and on the 40 names, we announced 35 names on Tuesday.”
“And it is the 35 names that have brought us to the start of training today but when you immediately get injury concerns of Milton Karisa and Siraje Sentamu.”
“You have to look into the reserved list of the five players and we have gone with the first name which is Senkatuka.”
“Senkatuka was a long time ago submitted for the visas to Tunisia and Algeria and we have added him to strengthen the striking department.”
“We know his capabilities and he is in line with Frank Sebuufu, and Cromwel Rwothomio for the number nine position, and maybe in addition to those three, Rogers Mato and Milton Karisa may come in.”
“They are five who will compete for the position in training and friendlies and three of them will travel with us for the tournament in Algeria,” Micho noted.
The lack of a prolific striker had caused agitation amongst the Cranes faithful who wondered what was going to be the source of the goals in the 2022 CHAN tournament in Algeria.
Uganda Cranes, who are in Group B with Senegal, Ivory Coast, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, will strive to punch above their weight and qualify for the knockout stage, something they have never done in their previous five attempts.
The 35-man provisional squad
Goalkeepers: Alionzi Nafian (URA FC), Joel Mutakubwa (Modern Gaddafi FC), Jack Komakech (Vipers SC), Mathias Muwanga (Onduparaka FC), Emmanuel Kalyowa (BUL FC)
Defenders: James Begisa (URA FC), Derrick Ndahiro (URA FC), Isa Mubiru (Vipers SC), Ashraf Mandela (Vipers SC), Hilary Mukundane (Vipers SC), Kenneth Semakula (SC Villa), Filbert Obenchan (KCCA FC), Geoffrey Wasswa (KCCA FC), Bright Vuni (Arua Hill SC), Fred Gift (SC Villa), Arthur Kiggundu (Express FC), Grant Matsiko (Wakiso Giants FC)
Midfielders: Siraje Ssentamu (Vipers SC), Karim Watambala (Vipers SC), Marvin Joseph Youngman (Vipers SC), Moses Waiswa (KCCA FC), Saidi Kyeyune (URA FC), Hussein Ssenoga (Express FC)
Wingers: Mohamed Ssenoga Kagawa (KCCA FC), Rogers Mato Kassim (KCCA FC), Moses Aliro (Wakiso Giants FC), Travis Mutyaba (SC Villa), Milton Karisa (Vipers SC), Ibrahim Orit (Vipers SC)
Forwards: Najib Yiga (Vipers SC), Bright Anukani (Vipers SC), Ibrahim Kasule (Wakiso Giants FC), Titus Ssematimba (Wakiso Giants FC), Frank Sebuufu (Wakiso Giants FC), Cromwel Rwothomio (Vipers SC), Nelson Senkatuka (Bright Stars FC)