Five things we learnt as Desabre started preps for last AFCON qualifier

By Football256 Team
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Sebastien Desabre applauds the fans at Namboole after Cranes sealed their ticket to AFCON with a 1-0 win over Cape Verde | FUFA Image

The Cranes are already safe and sound in Egypt preparing of their March 24th, Total Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier against Tanzania in Dar Es Salaam. The Cranes have already qualified for the finals as Group L on 13 points. Collecting four wins and a draw, in processing scoring seven goals and conceding none.

Ten players were confirmed on Saturday night, hours after the Cranes defeated a Kampala Select side 4-0 at the StarTimes Stadium Lugogo.

These include; Timothy Awany, Allan Okello, Allan Kyambadde, Patrick Kaddu, Sadam Ibrahim Juma (All KCCA FC), Moses Waiswa, Taddeo Lwanga, Halid Lwaliwa (all Vipers SC) Hassan Wasswa, Godfrey Walusimbi (both club-less)

They join a group of 14 foreign-based players in Egypt for a camp in Ismailia the final game in Dar es Salaam. Here’s what www.football-256.com’s Herman Nnyanzi learnt from Desabre’s choices.

Pedigree not form

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Sadam Ibrahim Juma has been one of those players Desabre has enjoyed working with since he came to Uganda early last year | Amina Babirye Image

Desabre seemed to have based on the pedigree of some players but not their current form in their respective clubs. The subject of this is Vipers’ midfielder Moses Waiswa who is currently struggling for form and his KCCA FC counterpart Ibrahim Sadam Juma who has just returned from injury.

Actually, Waiswa lost his starting place at Vipers to Tom Masiko while Nicholas Kasozi has been marshalling the KCCA FC midfield in the absence of Sadam Juma.

UPL top scorers dropped

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Police FC midfielder Juma Balinya did make the grade despite being the most in from player in the league right now | Amina Babirye Image

More like the case of Pedigree and not form as three StarTimes Uganda Premier League-leading top scorers were overlooked this time around.

There was no Police FC’s Juma Balinya bagging in 16 goals, SC Villa’s Bashir Mutanda on 13 and Kirinya’s Joel Madondo on 12.

The French tactician summoned KCCA’s striker Patrick Henry Kaddu who is just on nine goals in the league, the player fits well into the kind of style Desabre wants his strikers to play.

No local goalkeeper

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KCCA FC goalkeeper Charles Lukwago has enjoyed a fare share on being part of the national team set up, he didn’t make the grade this time round | KCCA FC Image

It has been the norm, at least for close to a year or more than that a local goalkeeper always joins the team but not this time as none of Nicholas Sebwato (Onduparaka), Saidi Keni (SC Villa), James Alitho (URA) and Charles Lukwago (KCCA) made the cut.

Desabre rather resorted to recalling Robert Robert Odongkara (Adama City, Ethiopia) to join skipper Denis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa) and Salim Jamal Magoola (Al Hilal, Sudan).

Senior team at just 18

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KCCA FC midfielder Allan Okello made the cut at just 18, he joins a long list of teenager whose talent and form see them join the national team very early | Amina Babirye

Allan Okello joins a long list of players who get into the national team as teenagers. The left-footed midfielder was on target during the team’s 4-0 win against Kampala region select side during a trial match played on Saturday at Lugogo.

Okello has been impressive in training and in splendid form for KCCA, a regular player in Mike Mutebi’s side since he made his senior team debut at the Lugogo based club in 2017.

Two free agents in the squad

He is the Cranes vice captain and despite being clubless at the moment and suspended for the Tanzania game, Hassan Wasswa is also part of the team | Amina Babirye Image

Another case of pedigree came into play when Desabre retained faith in two free agents, vice-captain Hassan Wasswa and Godfrey Walusimbi.

Walusimbi parted ways with Kaizer Chiefs earlier this year, five months after the left-back penned a three-year deal with the Johannesburg-based club.

Hassan Wasswa Mawanda meanwhile, last played for Egypt’s Tala’ea El Gaish SC the club he joined after his superb performance in 2017 Afcon.

The final team for Ismailia Camp

Goalkeepers: Denis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa), Salim Magoola (Al Hilal, South), Robert Odongkara (Adama City, Ethiopia)

Defenders: Murushid Jjuuko (Simba, Tanzania), Timothy Awany (KCCA, Uganda), Halid Lwaliwa (Vipers, Uganda), Godfrey Walusimbi (Free Agent), Joseph Ochaya (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Kirizestom Ntambi (Ethiopian Coffee), Nico Wakiro Wadada (Azam, Tanzania)

Midfielders: Khalid Aucho (Churchhill brothers, India), Milton Karisa (MC Oujda), Hassan Wasswa Mawanda (Free Agent), Tadeo Lwanga (Vipers, Uganda), Ibrahim Sadam Juma (KCCA, Uganda), Moses Waiswa (Vipers, Uganda), Moses Opondo (Vendsyssel FF, Denmark)

Forwards: Faruku Miya (Gorica, Croatia), Emmanuel Arnold Okwi (Simba, Tanzania), Allan Kyambadde (KCCA, Uganda), Allan Okello (KCCA, Uganda), Edrisa Lubega (SV Ried, Austria), Muhammad Shaban (Raja Casablanca, Morocco), Henry Patrick Kaddu (KCCA, Uganda)

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