KAMPALA- Already Uganda Cranes have tested the heat in the fifth Chan edition after their opening encounter against Zambia last night in Marrakech.

The expectations are still many and to achieve them, head coach Sebastien Desabre must look to some key players to drive the group progressing dream.

The performance of the five players enlisted below will without doubt tell how long the team can go in Group B where they also face Ivory Coast and Namibia and whether they can make it to the more lucrative stages of the Chan edition in Morocco.


Timothy Awany
Having played at the last edition in Rwanda and being part of the victorious side in the Ethiopia Cecafa tourney in 2015, the KCCA defender now comes with bags of experience to lead the backline. He is expected to go toe to toe with opposing strikers for his aggressiveness and should also come good in set piece situations for the team. Awany knows that a splendid outing in Morocco will not only alert scouts but also pave for him a way into the senior national team now that it is under new management.

Bernard Muwanga
A skipper, like the head coach, many times shoulders the blame for the team – and this should inspire Muwanga, also the SC Villa captain. His partnership with Awany ought to be rock solid especially against the bullying Ivorians. Muwanga knows the showpiece will help him to atone for the unsatisfying show in the Kenya Cecafa tourney last month. At his commanding best, the versatile defender can be a force to reckon with.

Muzamir Mutyaba
How do you solve a problem like form criticism? Go out, play your best and silence doubters. This is the interesting script Mutyaba, scolded by some for his Airtel-Fufa MVP accolade, ought be reading from.

He has been granted something like a last chance salon by Sebastien to steer the team from the midfield and anything like assists or goals will cement his burgeoning reputation as the long-lost playmaker the country has been yearning for.

Milton Karisa
Gradually, the Vipers lightening forward is proving a vital member in the Cranes fold. Able to play through the wings and as a centre forward, Karisa has a platform to confirm his arrival at the big stage. Like Mutyaba, he is expected to supplement the strikers with assists and goals.

Derrick Nsibambi
After Geoffrey Massa’s retirement, the KCCA striker is now saddled with the burden of netting goals for Uganda Cranes – something he is yet to do more frequently.

If the taps open in Morocco, the lively forward, rumoured to be on his way to Egypt for a professional stint, would be on cloud nine. Nsibambi has club-mate Muhammad Shaban for a partner if Sebastien goes for the 4-4-2 and theirs is an anticipated striking duo for the Cranes in the near future if they can continue gelling.