Abraham Ndugwa is the surprise inclusion in new Uganda Cranes coach Sebastien Desabre’s squad that will be tested by Malawi at Namboole later this month.
Only four players, three of whom were with the coach at the African Nations Championship in Morocco this January, were selected from the home-based players.
Ndugwa, who plays for relegation threatened Masavu has caught the eye of the French tactician and will test his potential that has seen him score six times in the league.
The other home-based players are Nicholas Wadada, Milton Karisa and Timothy Awany.
Desabre broke away from the tradition Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic had instituted of inviting over 30 players ahead of major ties and friendlies.
“I am monitoring over 50 players but I now need only these 23,” he told the press at Mengo.
Benjamin Ochan, who was blamed for horrendous goal keeping at CHAN, was dropped and instead Salim Jamal, who had been locked out after the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Equatorial Guinea for a disagreement with team officials has been returned to the fold.
Bernard Muwanga of SC Villa, who wore the armband in Morocco, has also been put on the waiting list as Timothy Awany keeps his place.
Two impressive defenders, Bevis Mugabi, who plays for Yeovil in England and Alex Kakuba, who plays for Portuguese side Feirense on loan from Estoril have been added to the team.
Estranged Luwagga Kizito, Yunus Sentamu and Geoffrey ‘Baba’ Kizito also make the team while Derrick Nsibambi, who has been playing the main striker role since Geoffrey Massa quit, will have to wait for now.
The team which plays Tanzania and Lesotho for a place in the finals of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, will start residential training on March 20 before playing two trials games.
Goal keepers: Denis Onyango, Robert Odongkara, Salim Jamal
Defenders: Denis Iguma, Nicholas Wadada, Isaac Isinde, Bevis Mugabi, Murushid Juuko, Timothy Awany, Godfrey Walusimbi, Alex Kakuba
Midfielders: Joseph Ochaya, Hassan Wasswa, Khalid Aucho, Geoffrey Kizito, Faruku Miya, Milton Karisa, Kizito Luwagga, Abraham Ndugwa
Forwards: Emma Okwi, Yunus Sentamu, Edrisa Lubega, Hood Kawesa