NAIROBI, Kenya, December 5, 2019 – The stage is set for the forthcoming CECAFA senior Challenge Cup that gets underway from December 7 to 19 in Uganda.
Newly assembled Harambee Stars began training on Tuesday December 3, at Kasarani Sports Complex with a full house in attendance.
The two weeks tournament will be hosted at the FUFA Technical Centre, Njeru and the Kyabazinga Stadium, Bugembe in Jinja.
Kenya is the defending champions of this championship having edged Zanzibar in the last edition they hosted in 2017. Harambee Stars are pooled in Group C alongside Tanzania, Djibouti, and Zanzibar.
Hosts Uganda coached by Jonathan Makinstry assisted by Abdallah Mubiru have been plunged in group A alongside Burundi, Ethiopia, and Eritrea. But some reports indicated that Ethiopia had pulled out but Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) is yet to confirm.
DR Congo, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia are in Group B while Group C is comprised of Kenya, Tanzania, Djibouti, and Zanzibar. This will be the first CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup to be hosted by Uganda since 2012 which they eventually won.
Harambee Stars new players who are already in camp include Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) rookie Reagan Otieno and Tusker’s Luke Amanda.Other new faces include Benson Omala of Western Stima,Suleiman Ngotho of Posta Rangers and Johnstone Omurwa of Wazito FC among others.
Nevertheless, Harambee Stars coach Francis Kimanzi has expressed satisfaction in the newly assembled side. Stars entered day two of residential training on Tuesday, at the MISC Kasarani, with coach Kimanzi looking forward to the possibility of retaining the trophy.
“Everyone who was called up to the camp has reported and is training hard for the tournament,” said the coach. He continued, “We are looking forward to retaining the trophy we won in the 2017 CECAFA Championships.”
AFC Leopards midfielder, Whyvone Isuza, exuded confidence in his team’s capability to defend the trophy. “We are preparing well for the championships and we will do our best to defend the trophy,” said Whyvone Isuza.
Group A is comprised of hosts Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia, and Eritrea, while Group B will pit guest team DR Congo against Sudan, South Sudan, and Somalia.
The top two teams in each group, as well as two best losers from the three groups, will proceed to the tournament’s quarterfinal.
Goalkeepers -Timothy Odhiambo (Ulinzi Stars), Samuel Odhiambo (Western Stima)
Defenders – Johnstone Omurwa (Wazito), Suleiman Ngotho (Posta Rangers), Joash Onyango (Gor Mahia), Daniel Sakari (Kariobangi Sharks), Hillary Wandera (Tusker), Andrew Juma (Mathare United), David Owino (Mathare United) Samuel Olwande (Kariobangi Sharks)
Midfielders – Anthony Wambani (Vasalunds IF), Roy Okal (Mathare United), Kenneth Muguna (Gor Mahia), Musa Masika (Wazito), Abdallah Hassan (Bandari), Moses Mudavadi (Kakamega Homeboyz), Lawrence Juma (Gor Mahia), Reagan Otieno (KCB), Luke Namanda (Tusker), Whyvone Isuza (AFC Leopards), Kevin Kimani (Mathare United), Cliffton Miheso (Gor Mahia)
Forwards – Oscar Wamalwa (Ulinzi Stars), Benson Omala (Western Stima), Elvis Nandwa (Ulinzi Stars), John Mark Makwatta (AFC Leopards), Timothy Otieno (Tusker)
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