Ivan Sserubiri trained with the Uganda Cranes for the first time as a late inclusion into the provisional squad for the forthcoming CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup.

Kirizestom Ntambi [Photo: Wakiso Giants Media]

The URA midfielder, playing his first season in the top division was summoned as a replacement for Wakiso Giants’ injured versatile midfielder.

“I think it’s fair to say he is the replacement for Ntambi when you look at the physical attributes,” said Jonathan McKinstry after Monday training session.

“Though Ntambi can play a lot more going forward and is more of a technician but in Ethiopia, we played him in front of the back four and he did well,” he added.

The choice of Sserubiri comes as a surprise but McKinstry explains;

“There are no number sixes in the league that have the same physicality and style that he has. For football, it’s not necessarily having the best twenty players in the UPL. It’s about having players who together well and answer different questions.

Uganda Cranes coaching staff at Lugogo on Monday

“Sometimes we play games where we need highly creative midfield where we need a lot of technicians in there and in other games, we may need to defend a lot more and we need a lot of physicality and positional discipline and Ivan is a player we think can give us some of those attributes.”

Nevertheless, the former Rwanda coach believes Sserubiri’s abilities will come to test in the sessions from open play.

“He is young and this is the first time he has been involved as far as I know and he did okay today and like I said, today was a lot of teaching so tomorrow will be a lot more open play and will be a test for him.”

The tournament kicks off on December 7 and will be hosted in Uganda.

Ismael Kiyonga

Senior Staff writer at Kawowo Sports mainly covering football

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