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African Nations Championship

Chan 2020: McKinstry assesses Uganda's preparedness despite tourney's postponement

13:56 GMT+4 18/03/2020
Mike Mutyaba of Uganda and KCCA FC.
The coach had been in camp for 17 days before it was disbanded after Caf and Cameroon postponed the biennial competition due to coronavirus fears

Uganda head coach Johnathan McKinstry has revealed the players learned valuable lessons in the African Nations Championship (Chan) preparations.

The Cranes' camp was disbanded after Caf confirmed the April 4-25 Chan tournament in Cameroon had been postponed following coronavirus fears.

McKinstry, who had been with his provisional squad in a residential camp, stated although the competition had been postponed, the players had picked up important lessons during their training. The Irish coach was conducting both the Chan and three-nation tournament preparation simultaneously before both were suspended.

The Federation of Uganda Football Associations (Fufa) had organised a tri-nation tournament involving the Cranes, Zambia and Mali before it was cancelled even though no case of Covid-19 has been reported in Uganda.

“The players have taken a lot of steps forward in the last couple of days,” McKinstry told Fufa TV.

“Although we are disappointed, we are not going to Cameroon in the next couple of weeks but we are happy of the valuable time both in preparation for the tournament and improving the level of our players in the Ugandan Premier League.”

The 34-year old tactician pointed out they have no opposition to the steps taken to suspend the African biennial tournament for home-based stars.

“Naturally, everyone is disappointed with the news the tournament has been postponed but I know everyone can agree on the reasons behind the correct decision which Caf and the government of Cameroon have reached at,” added the coach.

McKinstry challenged his players, whom he says showed incredible growth in the camp, to show why they deserve to be part of the future Cranes team.

“We have told our players to show what they have learnt and desire to be part not only for the Chan team but for Uganda Cranes in the long-term also,” he concluded.

“We have been in the camp for the last 16 or 17 days and it has been valuable and the team is in a good position and shape.

“The boys have worked incredibly hard in the last two and a half weeks, we have shown a lot of development and learning and we cannot have anything more than to be pleased with them.”

Uganda, champions Morocco, Togo and Rwanda are in Group C of the 2020 Chan tournament.