Fahad Bayo in action for Uganda Cranes against Burundi. Uganda won 3-0 to qualify 6-0 on aggregate

2019 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup:

7th – 19th December – Kampala, Uganda


  • A: Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia
  • B: Kenya, Tanzania,Zanzibar, Sudan

Uganda is pooled in group A alongside Burundi as well as three horn of Africa nations; Djibouti, Eritrea and Somalia.

Kawowo Sports’ David Isabirye takes a long at the all the 20 players on the Uganda Cranes team.

Goalkeeper Charles Lukwago Credit: KCCA FC Media

Charles Lukwago (KCCA):

He is the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) first choice goalkeeper and captain.

He is among the most experienced members on this current CECAFA senior challenge team for Uganda.

Lukwago has had several caps for the Uganda Cranes in the CHAN 2020 qualification campaign but he is yet to break into the main streamline team where skipper Dennis Onyango and Robert Odongkara are way above him.

Joel Mutakubwa (left)

Joel Mutakubwa (Kyetume):

Joel Mutakubwa was the surprise choice among the two goalkeepers ahead of James Alitho.

The Kyetume Football Club goalkeeper was first summoned to the Uganda Cranes team in October 2019 during the away trip to Kenya for the international friendly match that ended goal-less.

He is a young goalkeeper who will definitely need time, back up to mature and come of age.

Paul Willa jumps to head the ball

Paul Willa (Vipers):

Vipers Sports Club right back Paul Willa keeps developing as a player in all aspects of the game.

From ball control, passing, dribbling, decision making, attacking and defending, Willa has shown a great improvement from the player he was in the yester-years at Police.

Willa is the only natural right back on the team although other players named as Musitafa Mujjuzi, John Revita and Paul Patrick Mbowa can be deployed in the same position.

Mustafa Kizza

Mustafa Kizza (KCCA):

Mustafa Kizza is one of the six KCCA players on the Uganda Cranes team for the 2019 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup.

Kizza’s energy levels, determination and confidence as a player elevate him above many young players.

He is the only natural left back on the team.

John Revita

John Revita (KCCA)

John Revita is not only elegant but also intelligent and smart.

The KCCA defender is a converted former holding midfielder.

Little wonder therefore, Revita is very comfortable on the ball with the ability to read the game superbly and pass at all ranges, short and long.

Revita still has to better his tackling attributes of the game and venture a little more upfront.

Musitafa Mujuzi Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

Musitafa Mujuzi (Proline)

Musitafa Mujuzi is a rock solid and orthodox center half. Excellent in the aerial challenges, Mujuzi is also equal to the task with tackling.

Mujuzi is a proven hitter of the ball from the dead ball situations at all ranges.

However, he still has a few grey areas to polish up the grey areas as game reading and passing the ball.

Halid Lwaliwa with the arm band during the Uganda Cranes regional tour of North East Region

Halid Lwaliwa (Captain, Vipers):

Majority of the world’s leaders are born and few are trained.

Halid Lwaliwa is a natural born leader. Also the Vipers Sports Club team captain, Lwaliwa will don the treasured arm band for Uganda Cranes at the 2019 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup.

A good game reader and tackler, Lwaliwa is also as strong in the air as an Eagle.

His partnership with Revita will be a continued series as it was during the CHAN 2020 qualification campaign.

Paul Patrick Mbowa

Paul Patrick Mbowa (URA):

Paul Mbowa’s structure is tailor made for a typical defender that any football coach would wish to include on his team.

Given his versatility in all the positions at the backline, Mbowa is another asset to the team.

The URA FC defender is still growing in confidence and given time, he will be up there.

Shafiq Kuchi Kagimu

Shafiq Kuchi Kagimu (URA):

Shafiq Kuchi Kagimu is no doubt one of the good users of the ball.

From the sublime first touch and enviable ball control, Kagimu is quick thinking and a good passer of the ball from all ranges.

The URA FC captain is also a leader of sorts and it will be brilliant to have him on the team that also has other Uganda Premier League club captains as Lukwago (KCCA), Mujuzi (Proline) and Lwaliwa (Vipers).

Nicholas Kasozi

Nicolas Kasozi (KCCA):

Nicholas Kasozi ‘s gradual ascendance as a holding midfielder right from the FUFA Big League days at Masaka based Synergy through to SC Villa, KCCA and now the national team spells a great deal of strides moved.

Kasozi is patient and hardworking as well. He remains key for the Uganda Cranes team in central midfield given his work ethic, positional awareness, ball usage and involvement of fellow teammates.

Bright Anukani

Bright Anukani (Proline):

One of the young graduates from the U-20 team, Bright Anukani continues to knock on the doors of the senior team.

The creative midfielder is elegant, fast thinking, fine dribbler and a good passer of the ball.

The CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup will be a perfect way for the Proline Football Club youngster to continue growing as a player.

Muzamiru Mutyaba

Muzamiru Mutyaba (KCCA):

Arguably the most senior on this team, Muzamiru Mutyaba’s experience will be key for Uganda Cranes at the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup.

Mutyaba was also a member of the team that won the Challenge Cup in Ethiopia (2016).

The KCCA midfield gem compensates the slow tempo for good footballing brains and accurate passes.

Abdu-Karim Watambala

Abdul-Karim Watambala (Vipers):

Abdul Karim Watambala is another young lad on the team. This is a big moment for him and he will be grateful for every second spent in the camp.

Watambala is a player with a lethal left foot whose end product spills venom, just like his home team, Vipers Sports Club.

Viane Ssekajugo

Viane Sekajugo (Wakiso Giants):

A graduate from the CHAN 2020 qualification campaign where he also managed to scored two goals.

Like Watambala and Kizza, Ssekajugo is also left footed with a purpose.

The Wakiso Giants winger boldly makes his presence felt with a great first touch, accurate passes and enviable thunderous bullet shot.

He has previously played at The Saints, Jinja Municipal Council (JMC) Hippos, Onduparaka and now Wakiso Giants.

Like most members on this Uganda Cranes team, Ssekajugo is also knocking on the doors of the main stream team.

Joackim Ojera

JoacKim Ojera (URA):

Pint sized but very – very intelligent and fast. Joackim Ojera is a decent winger who loves to operate in minimal and acres of spaces.

Ojera’s positional awareness is key to his game as he takes on the opposition.

He is blessed with quick thinking brains, a special attribute that made his stand above the ordinary at his parent home, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Football Club.

Allan Okello

Allan Okello (KCCA):

If mercurial would be his third tag, then the Bishop who baptized Allan Okello back in his native Lira town would have added the name to convince the parents how special the toddler would be in future.

Okello is a gem, an icon and represents the future frame of the Uganda Cranes team.

The KCCA forward play can be deployed on either flanks as he involves teammates at all times and shoots for goal every time special is availed.

Okello is one of the star players on this Uganda Cranes team and a big plat form to prove to the Doubting Thomases that he deserves a permanent place on the main streamline Uganda Cranes team.

Ben Ocen Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

Ben Ocen (Police):

Agile and blessed with the height advantage, Ben Ocen’s moment at the Uganda Cranes has finally come.

The 2019 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup tournament will surely be his hunting ground to prove self for the main national team.

Ocen is the only player from Police Football Club.

Joel Madondo

Joel Madondo (Busoga United):

Busoga United’s Joel Madondo is young, visionary, energetic and a sharp shooter.

Time over and again, he has shouldered the weight of the Busoga United team in the Uganda Premier League.

Being among a pool of established forwards will be a chance for him to compete healthily and take away every chance in thy midst.

Aziz Fahad Bayo

Aziz Fahad Bayo (Vipers):

Aziz Fahad Bayo’s football journey is straight. Hailing at the football hub of Lugazi, Bayo made his mark at Kibuli SS where he top scored the COPA Coca Cola tourney in Hoima (2015).

In the same year, he won the Airtel sponsored Masaza cup with Ssingo, coming on as a second half subsistute for Edrisa Lubega.

He joined Proline, left the country for greener pastures in Zambia with Buildcon and returned home this year to join Vipers.

He has steadily found the footing with 9 goals to his name at Vipers, two in CHAN 2020 qualifiers and one for the senior Uganda Cranes team, against Malawi in the 2021 AFCON qualifiers.

Bayo’s energy levels, positional awareness and will power to perform are his key attributes that can easily patch up his grey areas as a center forward.

Steven Mukwala Credit: KAWOWO SPORTS

Steven Desse Mukwala (Maroons):

Steven Desse Mukwala is an academy graduate from the famous Edgars Youth Football Programme.

He also scored for fun at Kibuli SS, Airtel Masaza Cup before getting his real challenge in life at Vipers Sports Club in the Uganda Premier.

Now at Prisons side Maroons (on a loan spell from Vipers), Mukwala is the current top scorer of the Uganda Premier League (first half of the 2019 – 2020 season) with 10 goals to his name.

Full of running, Mukwala is raw and a graduate from the Uganda U-20 and U-23 sides.

Among the five forwards on the team ready to compete and utilize any chance availed to the brim.

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

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