A famous saying states, ‘a dream does not become a reality through magic, it takes sweat, determination, and hard work’.
In the same spirit, Uganda Cranes captain Emmanuel Okwi has called upon fellow players to be determined and work hard for success ahead of the qualifiers.
“I can not lead the team alone. I call upon everyone to join efforts so that we chase this dream as a team,” Okwi told the press shortly after the Wednesday evening training session.
“I would like to thank everyone with whom we have moved the 10 days in camp. It is evident that everyone has given in their best, and we should keep the candle burning.”
“I am sure that whoever gets the chance to make the final squad will surely do what is required of him because all the boys are ready.”
“We need to push each other. Starting with those that will get a chance to play, and those who shall remain on the bench, so that we get the required result.”
“We thank all the sponsors for the support and promise to also pay back with good results.”
According to the skipper, the team has a golden chance to qualify for World Cup, but it will go back to how they prepare and take all their chances.
“We need to start on a good note so that we lay the required foundation which will help us in the games ahead because every point dropped will hugely affect us,” he continued.
Okwi replaced Dennis Masinde Onyango, who announced that he had retired from national team football in April after the Cranes lost to Malawi and failed to qualify for AFCON.
Okwi’s first game as the skipper was on June 10 in a friendly against South Africa.
Having featured at the 2017 and 2019 AFCON finals, Okwi has the extra responsibility of guiding the Cranes to its maiden World Cup tournament.f
The team is expected to fly to Ethiopia at 2:45 AM (Thursday morning), where they will play against Ethiopia in a build-up game, on Sunday, August 29, at the Bahir Dar Stadium.
Uganda will play Kenya Harambe Stars on September 2 in Nairobi before playing Mali on September 6 at St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende.
Cranes Squad in Camp:
Goalkeepers: Joel Mutakubwa (Express FC), Charles Lukwago (KCCA FC), Simon Tamale (Soltilo Bright Stars FC), Nafian Alionzi (URA FC)
Defenders: Enock Walusimbi (Express FC), Innocent Wafula (Mbarara City FC), Paul Willa (Vipers SC), Eric Ssenjobe (Police FC), Aziizi Kayondo (Vipers SC), Halid Lwaliwa (Vipers SC), Murushid Juuko (Express FC) Garvin Kizito Mugweri (SC Villa), Kenneth Ssemakula (SC Villa), Hassan Muhamood (Police FC), Denis Iguma (KCCA FC)
Midfielders: Nicholas Kasozi (Kyetume FC), Bobosi Byaruhanga (Vipers SC), Muzamiru Mutyaba (Express FC), Shafik Kuchi Kagimu (URA FC), Ali Abubaker Gift (KCCA FC), Ibrahim Orit (Vipers SC), Milton Karisa (Vipers SC), Abdu Lumala (Pyramids FC)
Forwards: Richard Basangwa (Vipers SC), Steven Dese Mukwala (URA FC), Patrick Henry Kaddu (RS Berkene), Emmanuel Arnold Okwi (Unattached), Yunus Ssentamu (Vipers SC), Jude Ssemugabi (Mbarara City FC), Martin Kizza (Express)