Uganda Cranes coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic has revealed his final 23-man list that will compete at the upcoming Afcon 2017 set for January 14 to February 5 in Gabon.
Fufa Male Player of the Year Muhammad Shaban, 18, has been given an opportunity to replicate his league heroics at the biggest stage of African football.
The Onduparaka striker has not hidden his delight and told supersport.com that, “I am very excited to be on the team that will compete at Afcon. I look forward to giving my best. This is a dream come true.”
Shaban is one of the young upcoming youngsters alongside KCCA central defender Timothy Awany who are being groomed for the future.
Kenyan-based Shafik Batambuze earned his first call-up to the Cranes set-up following a convincing performance in training in the past three weeks and in the friendly against Tunisia on Wednesday.
The Serbian tactician included only four locally based players, including the KCCA trio of Geoffrey Sserunkuma, Joseph Ochaya and Awany as well as Shaban (Onduparaka).
He dropped goalkeeper Benjamin Ochan who just renewed his contract at KCCA, Edrisa Lubega (Proline) and KCCA’s Muzamir Mutyaba who ply their trade in the Uganda Premier League.
The Cranes depart Tunis on Thursday to Dubai where they will hold an eight-day camp and will face Slovakia on January 8 and Cote d’Ivoire on January 11 in friendly matches in Abu Dhabi.
Uganda will open their campaign against Afcon 2015 finalists Ghana on January 17 before facing Egypt four days later at Stade de Port Gentil. They will complete their Group D matches against Mali on January 25 at Stade d’Oyem.
Goalkeepers:Denis Onyango,Robert Odongkara, Salim Omar Magoola
Defenders: Joseph Ochaya, Murushid Juuko, Isaac Isinde, Denis Iguma, NicholasWakiroWadada, Shafik Batambuze, Timothy Dennis Awany
Midfielders: Tonny Mawejje,Khalid Aucho, Godfrey Walusimbi, Michael Azira, Hassan Mawanda Wasswa, Geoffrey Kizito
Forwards: Junior Yunus Sentamu, Geoffrey Sserunkuma, William Luwagga Kizito, Geoffrey Massa, Moses Oloya, Farouk Miya, Muhammad Shaban