Kampala (AFP) – Uganda coach Milutin Sredejovic has named only four home-based players in his 23-man squad for the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.
The Serbian-born coach, who has successfully managed to steer the Ugandan team to their first Nations Cup in 39 years, has included 18-year-old striker Muhammad Shaban in the squad.
Shaban, who turns out for the Arua-based Premier league side Onduparaka, is one of the three players who have received their first call-ups to a squad which is heavily-laden with overseas-based players.
The others are defenders Timothy Awany of the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and Shafik Batambuze, who plays with the Kenyan champions Tusker FC.
Top goalkeeper Denis Onyango, whose heroics helped South African club Mamelodi Sundowns win the CAF Champions League title last October, is also included.
Uganda are drawn in Group D alongside Egypt, Ghana and Mali, and will play their first-round group matches in the port city of Port-Gentil.
The Cranes lost their first warm-up match 2-0 to Tunisia on Wednesday, and are set to play two more build-up games against Slovakia and the reigning African champions Ivory Coast in Dubai on January 8 and 11 respectively.
The Uganda squad:
Goalkeepers: Denis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundowns/RSA) Robert Odongkara (Saint George/ETH) Salim Jamal (AL Merreikh/SUD)
Defenders: Joseph Ochaya (KCCA) Timothy Dennis Awany (KCCA) Shafik Batambuze (Tusker/KEN) Dennis Iguma (Al Ahed/LBN) Isaac Isinde (Unattached) Murushid Juuko (Simba/TAN) Nicholas Wadada (Vipers)
Midfielders: Tony Mawejje (Throttur/ISL) Khalid Aucho (Baroka/RSA) Luwagga William Kizito (Rio Ave/POR) Moses Oloya (Hanoi T and T/VIE) Geoffrey Kizito (Than Quang Ninh/VIE) Godfrey Walusimbi (Gor Mahia/KEN) Hassan Mawanda Wasswa (Nijmeh/LBN) Mike Azira (Colorado Rapids/USA)
Strikers: Faruku Miya (Standard Liege/BEL) Geoffrey Massa (Baroka/RSA) Muhammad Shaban (Onduparaka) Yunus Sentamu (Ilves/FIN), Geoffrey Sserunkuma (KCCA).
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