As the Uganda Hippos prepare to get their CECAFA U20 Championship underway, head coach Morley Byekwaso has set his sights on guiding the Hippos to their first ever youth Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Mauritania in 2021.
The Hippos are already in Arusha, Tanzania to play at the Total CAF U-20 Zonal Qualification tournament (CECAFA U20 Championship).
“Together with my players, we are looking forward to reaching this tournament’s final and go all the way and win it so that we qualify for the AFCON tournament,” Byekwaso told FUFA.
Byekwaso and his charges are pooled in Group B of the tournament alongside Burundi and their Northern neighbours South Sudan.
And they kick-start the CECAFA tourney which is also their AFCON qualification campaign against South Sudan at the Sheikh Amri Abeid Memorial Stadium on Monday before they play Burundi two days later.
The Uganda U20 side will be captained by SC Villa youngster Gavin Kizito Mugweri who is in a similar way hopeful that they will make it to their first ever AFCON.
“We are in good shape and ready to go and I can assure you we are here to win the CECAFA Cup and then qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations,” the defender said.
Hosts Tanzania will flag off this year’s CECAFA when they play against Djibouti at the Black Rhino Academy Stadium today November 22, with the tournament set to run until December 6.
Nine teams will take part in the U20 CECAFA Championship which will also act as the 2021 U20 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers for the CECAFA region.
The winner of the zonal tournament will represent the CECAFA region at next year’s AFCON tournament in Mauritania between February and March.
CECAFA Zonal Qualifiers:
Group A: Tanzania (hosts), Somalia and Djibouti
Group B: Uganda, Burundi and South Sudan
Group C: Ethiopia, Kenya and Sudan
Uganda U20 squad:
Goalkeepers: Jack Komakech and Denis Ssenyondwa Kaala
Defenders: Richard Bbosa, Abdu Aziizi Kayondo, Musa Ramathan, Gavin Kizito Mugweri, Kenneth Ssemakula, Joseph Kafumbe
Midfielders: Isma Mugulusi, Steven Sserwadda, Joseph Kizza Bukenya, Ivan Asaba, Yiga Najib, Ashiraf Mulindi, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Alpha Thierry Ssali
Forwards: Ivan Bogere, Richard Basangwa, Faisal Wabyoona, Raymond Onyai
Head Coach: Morley Byekwaso