Cranes 2019 AFCON Fixtures
22nd June, Uganda vs DRC
26th June, Uganda vs Zimbabwe
30th June, Egypt vs Uganda
Ahead of the 2019 Total AFCON finals in Egypt, Uganda Cranes have intensified training in Abu Dhabi where they camped for the next three weeks.
It is this point in time that any coach calculates and plans sessions as the team gears up for such high profile action.
Ahmed Hussein, the FUFA Head of communications and also Cranes media officer revealed that the competition for places on the final 23-man team is high in the camp and players are expected to work their socks off to convince Head coach Sebastien Desabre to be part of the traveling squad to Egypt.
“The busiest technical official on Wednesday morning was the Physical fitness trainer Gerome D’Antonio at the Park Rotana Hotel as the team engaged in gym work sessions. D’Antonio, closely monitored by Desabre, divided players into three groups for periodical intervals,” noted Hussein.
“All the 17 players in camp took part in the gym session that lasted 45 minutes (per group) before they went for swimming, pool and table tennis games,” he added.
Having had a training session late on Tuesday under floodlights, the players headed back to Sheikh Zayed Stadium to complete the day’s programme. Meanwhile, Desabre has designed a programme that fits exactly into the Ramadan period for the fasting players.
There is a sizable number of Muslims in Cranes camp observing the fourth pillar of Islam. They are able to break the fast on time in the evening with the timing signal coming off the Adhan (Calling Muslims for prayer) from the nearby Sheikh Zayed Grand mosque.
Assistant captain Hassan Wasswa Mawanda leads the group of those fasting who are always catered for with late night meals- Suhoor popularly known as ‘Daku’ in Uganda.
“It is not difficult for me and my colleagues who are fasting during this holy month of Ramadan. Our bodies are set for this period and we knew that training would start during Ramadan. The coach has given us a good progamme that favors the entire team for training sessions,” explained Wasswa.
Out of the 28 players, 17 have reported in the Abu Dhabi camp with the rest of the players (11) expected to join the team between June 2-7.
These Salim Jamal, Kizito Luwagga, Lumala Abdul, Alexis Bakka, Allan Kateregga, Nico Wadada, Emma Okwi, Robert Odongkara, Ronald Mukiibi, Charles Lukwago and Mike Azira, who will report last.