Abdu Lumala Credit: FUFA Media

Stylish midfielder Abdu Lumala is among the players yearning for their maiden cap with the Uganda Cranes.

The Swedish based fast paced player currently features at Syrianska Football Club in the Superettan league.

Since joining the team base at Park Rotana hotel in Abu Dhabi in preparation for the AFCON 2019 finals, Lumala has boldly acknowledged that there is something special for the team.

I got the chance to join the Uganda Cranes. I have received warm reception in camp. It is an honour to join a group that has Africa’s best goalkeeper Denis Onyango. There is something special in this camp. We are ready for the tournament but the matches lined up for us before we travel will give us the chance to check on how much we have covered

Abdul Lumala, midfielder
Uganda Cranes team captain Denis Onyango (left) with Abdu Lumala in Abu Dhabi (Photo: FUFA Media)

Lumala is among the uncapped players on the team.

The other is Swedish based defender Brian Ronald Mukiibi Ddungu and striker Alexis Bbakka.

Whereas Mukiibi features in the top tier division (Allsvenskan), Bbakka is in the third tier league (Swedish Division 1 Norra).

Abdul Lumala (left) and Alexis Bbakka pose for a photo moments after arrival at the team base in Abu Dhabi (Photo: FUFA Media)

Battle for slots:

Lumala joins a team with a pack of midfielders as Allan “Dancing Rasta” Kateregga who plays at Maritzburg Football Club in South Africa, William Kizito Luwagga of Shakhter Karagandy in Kazahstan and India based holding midfielder Khalid Aucho of Church Hill Brothers.

The other midfielders on the team are; Faruku Miya (HNK Gorica, Croatia), Kirizestom Ntambi- Coffee FC, Ethiopia) and the Ugandan based trio of Tadeo Lwanga (Vipers), Moses Waiswa (Vipers S) and Ibrahim Sadam Juma (KCCA FC).

Utility player Kirizestom Ntambi (Photo: David Isabirye)

The head coach Sebastien Desabre and the rest of the technical team will agree upon the final 23 man squad that will represent Uganda at the 2019 AFCON finals in Egypt.

This will be after the first of the two international friendly matches against Turkmenistan at the New York University play ground in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, 9th June 2019.

The second international friendly match will come on the 15th June 2019 against West African giants Ivory Coast at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

Uganda Cranes is in group A alongside hosts Egypt, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The Squad in Abu Dhabi

Goalkeepers: Denis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa), Jamal Salim (Al Hilal-Sudan), Robert Odongkara (Adama City, Ethiopia)

Defenders: Nico Wakiro Wadada (Azam, Tanzania), Brian Ronald Ddungu Mukiibi (Ostersunds, Sweden), Murushid Jjuuko (Simba, Tanzania), Bevis Mugabi (Yeovil Town, England), Isaac Muleme (FK Viktoria Zizkov, Czech Republic), Hassan Wasswa Mawanda (Un attached), Joseph Ochaya (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Timothy Denis Awanyi (KCCA FC, Uganda), Godfrey Walusimbi (Un-attached)

Midfielders:  Allan “Dancing Rasta” Kateregga (Maritzburg, South Africa), William Kizito Luwagga (Shakhter Karagandy, Kazahstan), Khalid Aucho (Church Hill Brothers, India), Faruku Miya (HNK Gorica, Croatia), Abdul Lumala (Syrianska, Sweden), Tadeo Lwanga (Vipers SC-Uganda), Kirizestom Ntambi- Coffee FC, Ethiopia), Moses Waiswa (Vipers SC, Uganda), Sadam Juma (KCCA FC-Uganda)

Strikers: Alexis Bbakka (Carlstad United, Sweden), Patrick Henry Kaddu (KCCA FC, Uganda), Derrick Nsibambi (Smouha, Egypt), Allan Kyambadde (KCCA FC Uganda), Emmanuel Arnold Okwi (Simba, Tanzania)

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

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