Zambia coach, Wedson Nyirenda Credit: Zambia Reports
[/media-credit] Zambia coach, Wedson Nyirenda Credit: Zambia Reports

Zambia Chipolopolo Stars head coach Wedson Nyirenda has hailed the Uganda Cranes upon qualifying for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) championship for the first time in over 38 years.

Nyirenda was addressing the media after the Chipolopolo Stars last training on a wet Nelson Mandela National stadium turf on Monday after the afternoon down pour.

He lauded the national team’s trend of development that has seen the country qualify for the biggest continental footballing fiesta, for the first time in 38 years.

Uganda has improved so much tremendously when it comes to the game proper.

I saw Uganda planning very well for the past five years. This shows that there has been planning in terms of football development.

It has been the patience from the people of Uganda. Coaches at the league and national team level have also done a lot as well as the federation

Nyirenda recounted on the times he has faced Ugandan opposition both at club and national team level as player and coach;

We have also learnt from each other from the time i was playing for the clubs and national team. Uganda is a great country. We are so grateful that Uganda could host us.

I was happy they accepted our invitation to play them as we prepare for Cameroon. Uganda Cranes is a tough team and we shall get the best of the out the match.

Last Saturday, Zambia lost 1-0 to Zimbabwe in Harare courtesy of Tennage Hadebe’s glancing header in the 54th minute.

Zambia arrived in Uganda on Sunday.

Tuesday’s international friendly match will prove a test of character for the two sides.

Uganda will later face Congo Brazzaville on Saturday in a group E match. On the same day,  Zambia travels to Cameroon in Yaoundé in a group B clash.

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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