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Migraines for Hippos’ coaches ahead of final squad selection

Hippos while in camp at the FUFA Technical Center in Njeru ahead of the 2019 CECAFA U20 Championship / FUFA Images

All has been well for the Uganda U20 National football team (Hippos) technical crew since kick-starting residential training on Wednesday 11th September 2019 at the FUFA Technical Center in Njeru as the team prepares for the CECAFA U20 Challenge Cup 2019. 

The coaches led by Morley Byekwaso alias Okyama have reached a moment of reality as they are required to trim the squad of 32 players earlier summoned for camp to the final twenty players as required by the CECAFA organisers.

The team is made up of a pool of talented players in all departments especially the midfield creative unit where almost everyone is worth being named in the final squad. 

The in-charge will have brood over to choose the best of the best from the list of midfielders currently in camp.

According to coach Hamzah Lutalo who has been in full charge of the team during the absence of Byekwaso, they (technical team) are troubled that CECAFA only allows 20 players. 

His wishes were that at least they could be added more three slots to accommodate the plenty of talent his team possesses. 

The Hippos listen to instructions from coach Hamza Lutalo (not in picture) before undergoing a drill at the FUFA Technical Centre in Njeru / FUFA Images

‘We have a big task of selecting the final squad ahead of us. What I can say is that all our players are so good but we have no choice than selecting the final twenty players for the tournament’ Lutalo told www.football-256.com

 Thomas Kakaire features for Turkish side Alanya Spor and was a key figure during CECAFA AFCON U-17 Zonal qualifiers and the AFCON U-17 tournament in Tanzania. The Pacey attacker is good with the ball and very dangerous to deal with in the final third.

Sensational Abdul Karim Watambala who features for Vipers SC and St Mary’s Kitende is known for his untiring work rate and skills he can beat off defenders with ease to create space for his teammates.

Former Aspire Academy graduate Hassan Ssenyonjo who features for Wakiso Giant in the Stars Times UPL is another who can’t be overlooked. 

The venomous young shark has been a pain to defenders in the league so far. There moments he has left them crawling consequently creating best photo moments for sports photojournalists.

There is also little known Ashiraf Zzizinga who features for Kampala Junior Team, he has great fearless traits amidst his small size. Zzizinga can create panic among defenders of the opposing team with his close dribbles at a very high speed.

KCCA FC duo of midfielder Steven Sserwadda and striker Sadat Anaku are expected to be part of the final team ahead of the championship / FUFA Images

Steven Sserwadda alias the Surgeon features for UPL Champions KCCA FC, his sharpness is related to that of a surgical blade, he can go past any opponent in a blink of an eye. 

Sserwadda is considered one of the most experienced players on the team because he has featured in bigger matches like the CAF Champions League and the CECAFA Club championship. 

Bright Anukani, hold a senior Cranes cap to his name and has been training with the Uganda Cranes CHAN team but he is expected to join after the practice match between the two teams that is Hippos and the Cranes on Tuesday evening. 

The Proline midfielder is known for his eye for the killer pass, comfort in operating in the tight spaces in between the lines and the ability to score goals. 

Players in camp

Goalkeepers: Denis Otim (Mbarara FC), Jack Komakech (Football For Good Academy), Mutwalib Magolofa (Vipers SC Junior Team)

Defenders: Azizi Abdu Kayondo (Vipers Sports Club), Robert Kitabalwa (St Mary’s Kitende), Garvin Kizito Mugweri (SC Villa Jogoo), Derrick Kiggundu (Buddo SS), Musa Ramathan (KCCA FC), Kenneth Ssemakula (Busoga United FC), Kevin Ssekimbegga (Express FC ), Justine Opiro (KCCA FC Soccer Academy)

Midfielders: Thomas Kakaire (Alanya Spor-Turkey), Abdul Karim Watambala (Vipers SC), Hassan Ssenyonjo (Wakiso Giants), Ashiraf Zzizinga (Kampala Junior Team), Steven Sserwadda (KCCA FC), Davis Ssekajja (Bright Stars FC), Saidi Mayanja (Edgars Youth Programme), William Sseguya (Kampala Junior Team), Joseph Kafumbe (KCCA FC), Andrew Kawooya (Vipers SC Junior Team).

Strikers: Charles Lwanga (SC Villa Jogoo), Ivan Asaba (Vipers SC Junior Team), Sadam Masereka (BUL FC), Sadat Anaku (KCCA FC), Ivan Bogere (Proline FC), Frank Ssebufu (Buddo SS), Isma Mugulusi (Busoga United FC) and Najib Yiga (Vipers Sports Team).

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