Sebastien Desabre, head coach of Uganda Cranes addresses the media (PHOTO: Aisha Nakato) Credit: Kawowo Sports | AISHA NAKATO

For the previous 48 hours, Uganda Cranes head coach Sebastien Desabre kept many guessing which players would make the final 2019 AFCON 23 man team.

On Tuesday, Desabre officially released one of the most sought-after lists in Uganda.

The Frenchman secretly kept the cards closest to his chest and many, including those camped at the team’s Rotana base in Abu Dhabi were left perplexed.

Sebastien Desabre took his time to name the final list

There are no major shock exclusions made by Uganda’s technical team as 15 of the players who played at the previous AFCON finals all return.

Virtually, three thirds of the team that played at AFCON 2017 in Gabon will return to Egypt.

The Uganda Cranes lineup that started against Ghana at AFCON 2017 Credit: © Kawowo Sports | AMINAH BABIRYE

Team skipper Dennis Onyango, the first choice for country and his Mamelodi Sundowns club returns unscathed among the 23 players.

Denis Onyango will captain Uganda Cranes at AFCON 2019 finals

The two other goalkeepers Robert Odongkara and Jamal Salim Omar Magoola, who also were in Gabon are on the official list to Egypt.

Robert Odongkara returns to AFCON for the second successive time Credit: © Kawowo Sports | AMINAH BABIRYE

The returning faces include Azam FC’s right back, Nico Wakiro Wadada, Simba’s Murushid Jjuuko, Joseph Ochaya of TP Mazembe, KCCA defender Timothy Denis Awany and two unattached entities in Hassan Wasswa Mawanda and Godfrey “Jajja Walu” Walusimbi will all play at Africa’s biggest sporting fiesta for the second successive time.

Godfrey ‘Jajja Walu’ Walusimbi in action against Cape Verde

The backline has only three new faces in Ostersunds’ Brian Ronald Ddungu Mukiibi, KCCA’s Timothy Denis Awanya and Yeovil Town’s Bevis Mugabi.

Sebastien Desabre embraces Bavis Mugabi

In midfield, the returning parties are Montreal Impact’s Mike Azira, William Kizito Luwagga (Shakhter Karagandy, Kazakhstan), Khalid Aucho (Church Hill Brothers, India) and Faruku Miya (HNK Gorica, Croatia).

Mike Azira was also at AFCON 2019 Credit: Kawowo Sports | AMINAH BABIRYE

The new midfielders who did not feature at AFCON 2017 are; Allan Kateregga (Maritzburg, South Africa), Abdul Lumala (Syrianska, Sweden), Tadeo Lwanga (Vipers SC-Uganda).

Tadeo Lwanga makes the grade as well (Photo: FUFA Media)
Allan “Dancing Rasta” will pack his luggage to AFCON 2019 . PHOTO: DAVID ISABIRYE Credit: © Kawowo Sports | DAVID ISABIRYE

Injury and sickness woes:

Stylish midfielder Moses Waiswa’s knee concerns ruled the Vipers’ play maker out of the tournament.

Another injured player left out is burly forward Alexis David Bbakka who features at Carlstad United in Sweden.

KCCA’s Ibrahim Sadam Juma has been dogged by malaria for the previous seven days and sadly fails to make the list.

There is no place for Ethiopian based utility player Kirizestom Ntambi who is deemed as excess baggage in a crowded midfield department.

Uganda Cranes played to a goal-less draw with Asian light weight opposition Turkmenistan at the New York University Stadium.

Uganda will play the final build up against Cote D’Ivoire this coming Saturday, 15th June 2019 before flying to Egypt for the biennial continental showpiece.

Uganda is housed in group A alongside Hosts Egypt, Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe.

Uganda Cranes final 23 man Team:

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:  Mike Azira (Montreal Impact, Canada), Allan Kateregga (Maritzburg, South Africa), William Kizito Luwagga (Shakhter Karagandy, Kazakhstan), Khalid Aucho (Church Hill Brothers, India), Faruku Miya (HNK Gorica, Croatia), Abdul Lumala (Syrianska, Sweden), Tadeo Lwanga (Vipers SC-Uganda)

Strikers: 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.

Join the Conversation


  1. Good job Kawowo sports, Ideally, the head coach would have included Allan Okello in the Mid field, being a utility player, he would reduce the pressure in in the middle of the field and in the defense. However, i wish the cranes a very good luck Afcon 2019.

  2. Where is Mike serumaga, and midfield general Tonny Mawejje?? Why Allan okello not seen anywhere?

  3. Which means there is no football talent in westnile? Anyway we shall support our country.

  4. It seems am a good couch also, coz dats the squard I was also thinking of, thanks couch,I wish u all the best brothers

  5. well done guys then do us proud we are praying and hoping for the best. We go we go

  6. We go we go. We need to look for hard player from up country not Kampala only and Baganda dominating the team and yet others areas has good and aggressive players. The strikes are weak

  7. ugandans are doing well but now we need GOD’S mercy to win to night’s game

  8. So l hardly praying for cranes to win the game against senegal Oh! God have mercy for uganda we are pearl of Africa!!! Victory to ugandans if win this match

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