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Date: 14 December 2018

  Eastern African - Soccer

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Cranes prepare for African Cup of Nations qualifiers

[Posted 19 Feb 2011]
[By Charles Malingha]
Cranes prepare for African Cup of Nations qualifiers

Uganda Cranes, fresh from losing all three of their group matches, will have to forget the woeful display at the Africa Nations Championship (Chan) and focus on the looming Nations Cup qualifiers.

The team has less than a month before the all important Afcon qualifier to be played on an artificial turf at Lino Koreia Stadium in Guinea Bissau next month, which they must win to brighten their chances of qualification.

It was an abject performance in the only home-based players’ tournament in Sudan in which the Cranes conceded five goals, scoring just one - a penalty.

The team's form in Sudan, on the back of a promising Nile Basin tournament display in Egypt in which Uganda reached the final, is not the best from which to return to the qualification campaign but Cranes coach Bobby Williamson believes it won’t dampen their spirits.

"Not at all, I don’t think there should be a downcast," said Bobby.

"Because when you look at the two tournaments, Chan and the Nile Basin, we never had a full squad available for these games. What we’ve been using is a Super League select side.

"But because these players put on the Uganda Cranes shirt and represent the country, you can’t deny they are Uganda Cranes. So, we need to look at those aspects. And to criticise too much is a bit unfair.

"Most of these guys have played in the U-20s and have done a good job, you look at Ivan (Bukenya), Dennis (Guma), Edema (Patrick) Michael (Mutyaba); these guys will not be the same two years from now.

"As I said, these are two different teams. And may be only one, two or possibly three players at most from the Chan may end up in the Nations Cup squad. I don’t know, it depends on the players’ fitness then.

So it (Chan performance) shouldn’t be a worry as regards Nations Cup qualification. Only Simeon Masaba on that Chan team is assured a spot on the Nations Cup squad.

 "Of course I am disappointed, the players are disappointed. The boys did their best but it wasn’t good enough. But because we lost these matches in the Chan shouldn’t mean all doom for Ugandan football," added Bobby.

Cranes lead Group J on four points after two games, one ahead of Bissau and Angola.

Nations Cup qualifiers Group J
March 26: G. Bissau v Uganda

June 3-5: Uganda v G. Bissau
Sept 2-4: Angola v Uganda
Oct 7-9: Uganda v Kenya

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