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CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup

Cecafa Challenge Cup: Uganda preparing for World Cup qualifiers - McKinstry

12:57 GMT+3 05/12/2019
Uganda Cranes head coach Johnathan McKinstry.
The coach says the hosts have a strong desire not only to lift the trophy but also use to the tournament to build a strong squad

Uganda head coach Johnathan McKinstry has expressed his desire to win the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup.

The tournament is expected to start on December 7 as it will be hosted in Kampala. McKinstry has hopes his team will wrestle the title from their archrivals, Kenya.

The Cranes have been having their own training sessions as they camp at Paradise Hotel in Kisaasi and will start their campaign with a match against Burundi on Saturday where all Group A matches will be played.

The first match will involve Djibouti and Somalia. 

Apart from lifting the title, the Northern Irish coach says he will use the competition to build a strong team for the future.

“Cecafa is a tournament we want to win but we also want to use it to develop these players for the senior national team that will represent the nation in the African Nations Championship [Chan] finals, for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations [Afon] qualifiers, and the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers,” McKinstry told New Vision

The coach is expected to trim his squad to just 20 players on Thursday, two days before the tournament starts.

Following the withdrawals of Ethiopia, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Cecafa Secretariat was forced to change their fixtures.

Nine countries will now participate in the 12-day tournament, unlike the initial plan where 12 nations were confirmed as contestants.

In Group B, Tanzania, Sudan, Kenya, and Zanzibar will battle for the two top positions which will guarantee them slots in the semi-finals which are set to be played on December 17.