Attacking midielder Travis Mutyaba jumping the hurdles during training session at FUFA Technical Centre, Njeru (Credit: FUFA Media)

The Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests are mandatory for all the players that fall in the U-17 age category with the main purpose of ascertaining their true ages.

This is by formation of photos in anatomy and the physiological processes of the body from which the age bracket can be easily detected.

The current Uganda U-17 team (Cubs) camped at the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) Technical Centre, Njeru underwent through the MRI tests at the start of this week in Kampala.

The findings (results) from the tests are expected by close of business of this week and will determine the squad further trimming from the present number of 35 players.

The MRI testing followed the earlier done COVID-19 tests for every squads-man (players and officials) before camping.

A lion’s share of the current squad in camp are graduates from the victorious Uganda U-15 team that triumphed at the 2019 CECAFA U-15 championship in Eritrea, all who also undertook MRI tests last year.

Immensely gifted midfielder Edwin Opala Mukisa in training at FUFA Technical Centre, Njeru (Credit: FUFA Media)

The team is preparing for the CECAFA U-17 championship that shall be hosted by Rwanda.

This championship in Rwanda will also double as a qualification hurdle to the CAF 2021 U-17 tournament in Morocco.

Head coach of the Uganda Cubs team Hamza Lutalo is optimistic that they will perform well in Rwanda, carrying the defending champion tag enroute the intended destination.

We are preparing pretty well at the FUFA Technical Centre, Njeru and the team is in good shape. Am so positive we have the right players with exceptional talent around us whom we shall select from the final 20 who will travel to Rwanda for the competition. My confidence is high according to how players are responding to the training. All the 35 players were taken through the MRI and we hope to get all their results by close of business today before reducing the number further to twenty five.” Lutalo, as quoted by the FUFA website disclosed.

Lutalo works alongside Brian Ssenyondo (Assistant coach), Arthur Kyesimira (fitness coach), Mubarak Kiberu (goalkeeping coach), Mable Kabatalindwa (team physician), Bashir Mutyaba (coordinator) and the in charge of media as Joseph Mutaka.

Leading by example: Head coach Hamza Lutalo shows the youngsters how it is done during a drill (Credit: FUFA Media)

With the MRI results out, the shape of the current squad will definitely be determined before the training drills will intensify with a couple of internal and external friendly matches.

Uganda is housed in group B alongside Ethiopia and Kenya in arguably the group of death.

Other countries are Rwanda (hosts), Eritrea and South Sudan in group A; Sudan, Djibouti and Tanzania making up group C for the 13th – 28th December 2020 running championship.

Two countries will make the grade for the 2021 AFCON U-15 championship in Morocco.

The U-17 AFCON Zonal Qualifiers (Central East Zone) will be staged in Rwanda between 13th – 28th December 2020.

Players cooling off after a vigorous working session at FUFA Technical Centre, Njeru (Credit: FUFA Media)

Uganda U-17 squad at FUFA Technical Center, Njeru:

Goalkeepers

  • Daniel Mukisa – URA FC JT
  • Walter Chandia – Maroons FC JT
  • Henry Mwebe – Express FC JT
  • Abdu Magada – Busoga United FC JT
  • Norman Rukari – SC Vipers JT
  • Humphrey Oyirwoth – Express FC JT

Defenders

  • Shafiki Waswanga – URA FC JT
  • Vincent Mulema – Kyetume FC JT
  • Ibrahim Juma – KCCA FC SA
  • Enock Luyima – Volf SA
  • Simon Mukisa – KCCA FC SA
  • Peter Gava – Express FC JT
  • Ronald Madoi – Wakiso Giants FC JT

Midfielders

  • Kaliisa Shugai – Express FC JT
  • Pius Ssebulime – KCCA FC SA
  • Ivan Irinimbabazi – Bright Stars FC JT
  • David Bawunda– SC Villa JT
  • Yasin Mukiibi – Kataka FC
  • Travis Mutyaba – Vipers SC JT
  • Godfrey Ssekibengo – St Henry’s College Kitovu
  • Opio Alex Otti – Vipers SC JT
  • Elvis Eddy Mwanje – KCCA FC SA
  • Edrine Mukisa Opaala – Busoga United FC JT
  • Samir Mudiba – Express FC JT

Forwards

  • Abbasi Kyeyune – Kampala Junior Team
  • Shafiq Magogo – KCCA FC SA
  • Hassan Mubiru – Express FC JT
  • Oscar Mawa – KCCA FC SA
  • Faisal Kifumba– Kyetume FC JT
  • Allan Kiggundu – BUL FC JT
  • Issa Bugembe – Bright Stars FC JT
  • FahadJumbe – Vipers SC JT
  • Allan Odong – Volf SA
  • Christopher Nyongesa – Rock High School, Tororo
  • Basil Tenywa Tuma – Eton College, United Kingdom

Technical Team

Head coach: Hamuza Lutalo

Assistant Coach: Brian Ssenyondo

Fitness Coach: Arthur Kyesimira

Goalkeeping Coach: Mubarak Kiberu

Team Physician: Mable Kabatalindwa

Coordinator: Bashir Mutyaba

Media Officer: Joseph Mutaka

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

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