Uganda Cranes started their preparations for the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers with a double training session at Kabira Country Club, Bukoto in Kampala on Monday.

Twenty of the thirty summoned players turned up for the morning two hour session dominated by physical drills, lots of stretches and some ball work.

Three thirds of the locally summoned players turned up for session conducted by head coach Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic, French physical fitness coach Franck Plaine and Fred Kajoba Kisitu, the Goalkeeping coach.

Ibrahim Orit and Shafik Kagimu vie for ball possession during training

For obvious reasons, the KCCA and Express players did not show up since they were only reporting to the country from the CECAFA Kagame Cup in Dar es salaam city.

Micho hinted on the need to fine tune the players’ bodies after a lengthy period of inactivity because of the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown.

Uganda Cranes players stretch their bodies during a training session

“We start a campaign with a task ahead of us of fine tuning the players’ bodies. Even a journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step. This is the journey that we start” Micho stated.

Vipers’ captain Halid Lwaliwa acknowledged that the long break has affected them as players but they will strive to play catch up.

“We have started on a low tempo. But, I believe, we shall intensify as team moves on” Lwaliwa revealed.

Franck Plaine stretching with the player’s at Kabira Country Club, Bukoto

Defender Hassan Muhammod of Police Football Club hinted of quick adaptability to the demands and expectations of the new coaches.

“We had a good opening training session. Some of us have not worked with the coaches around but we have the hope of adapting very quickly” Muhammod disclosed.

Uganda Cranes players in a warm up drill before the ball work session

Later on Monday evening, the team conducted another two hour session at the MTN Omondi Stadium, Lugogo.

Unlike the opening session, the evening session was accompanied by lots of ball work and a game situation to fully awaken the players’ bodies.

On Tuesday morning, the team will conduct a morning training at Lugogo before a gym session later on in the evening.

Uganda Cranes is preparing for the FIFA World Cup 2022 group E contest against Kenya on 2nd September 2021 in Nairobi city.

Franck Plaine (director of fitness and performance) with head coach Micho

Before that, FUFA has planned a training camp in Jordan with two International build up matches against Syria on the 23rd and 26th August 2021.

There will be another build up against Ethiopia on 29th August 2021.

Players in Camp:

Goalkeepers: Charles Lukwago (KCCA), Simon Tamale (Soltilo Bright Stars), Nafian Alionzi (URA)

Defenders: Innocent Wafula (Mbarara City), Paul Willa (Vipers SC), Eric Ssenjobe (Police), Azizi Kayondo (Vipers), Halid Lwaliwa (Vipers), Garvin Kizito Mugweri (SC Villa), Kenneth Ssemakula (SC Villa), Hassan Muhamood (Police)

Midfielders: Ibrahim Orit (Vipers), Milton Karisa (Vipers SC), Bobosi Byaruhanga (Vipers), Shafik Kuchi Kagimu (URA), Nicholas Kasozi (Kyetume)

Forwards: Patrick Henry Kaddu (RS Berkene), Jude Ssemugabi (Mbarara City), Richard Basangwa (Vipers), Steven Dese Mukwala (URA FC)

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

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