Sebastian Desabre Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE
[/media-credit] Cranes coach Sebastian Desabre during a training at the Maroons ground in Luzira in one of his first sessions Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

Sebastien Desabre might have his own ambitions on his first assignment as national team coach and in his first outing at the 2018 CHAN finals in Morocco, of course like any other ambitious man.

But in all honesty the 41-year-old Frenchman has nothing to prove to Uganda, at least not for now at a tournament the Cranes have been part of since 2011 but never gone past the group stages.

Desabre took charge of players that he already found in camp, had a couple of training sessions before the team flew out to Morocco and by the look of things he has not made much changes.

That shows a man who is not ready to dismantle what he found in place all in the name of building something completely new.

[/media-credit] Sebastian Desabre his assistant and Matia Lule exchange ideas during a training session at maroons grounds in Luzira Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

I mean 90% of that team played the four qualifying matches and almost 95% of the players were at the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup in Kenya, then you have four of the players on the team also in Zambia for the U20 COSAFA Championship.

He has the best 23 players in the league right now at his disposal, at least according to his assistants who helped in summoning the squad that started training at end of the first round.

If the Cranes fail to mark in Morocco, that shouldn’t be a benchmark of what Desabre is made of as a football coach.
Because in all honesty, he has really had little time to probably prepare the team the best way he knows how for the tournament.

What the CHAN tournament will give Desabre however is a glimpse of the true description of a Ugandan footballer in terms of character, discipline and professionalism.

The little time he has spent with the team and that he will spend with them in Morocco will surely open his eyes and mind on what a Ugandan player is made of, what and how they think.

It’s from there that Desabre will then have a clear feel of what he is dealing with and how to encounter it moving forward.

[/media-credit] Sebastien Desabre poses with Uganda Cranes shirt. on his unveiling at FUFA House in Mengo Credit: © Kawowo Sports | DAVID ISABIRYE

Besides he has ample time between now and the next major assignment, the 2019 AFCON qualifiers against Tanzania in August, though then he will also be dealing with the foreign based players.

Sebastien cuts it as a man who loves to have the game played the right way that should explain why the team in Morocco has a number who love to use the ball and confidently express themselves.

And they are not in Morocco to make up the numbers, he will actually play them, I mean, in the two build up match against Guinea, Moses Waiswa, Sadam Juma, Allan Kyambadde and Milton Karissa all started, then Muzamir Mutyaba replaced Juma in the other against Congo.

Just a goal was scored in both as the Cranes conceded two, but the reports indicate that chances were created, and the strikers just need to be sharper in front of goal.

[/media-credit] Moses Waiswa (L) is one of the midfielders Sebastian Desabre (R) has been impressed of for the time he has been with the Cranes Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

Putting all that aside, The Cranes can score goals, there is no question about that and Desabre’s immediate task is to boost the confidence of strikers Derrick Nsibambi, Shaban Mohammad and Nelson Senkatuka.

But also develop an organised structured kind of approach towards games, from goalkeeping to striking, as a collective unit, qualifying for the knockout stages in a group that has Zambia, Namibia and Ivory Coast should be a reality.

Uganda’s record at the finals of nine games at the finals since 2011, only seven goals scored, and 13 conceded, should surely improve this time round in Morocco.

Senior staff writer at Kawowo Sports mainly covering volleyball, football and badminton

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