Uganda Hockey national teams – Men and Women – is set to leave for Accra Ghana for their Maiden Africa Cup of Nations Championship scheduled for 17th of January 2022.
Both teams have intensified training and the Men team has been boosted by four italy based players ie Batuusa Collins, Ashraf Tumwesigye, Ntumba Timothy and Baguma Emmanuel.
Head coach Kasasa Vicent Arnorld believes their experince together with other players that have previously competed in the Africa Club Championship will be a major boost to the team.
“Much as we are the underdogs, we know we can favourably compete, we have been in camp for more than two months and the boys are now fast and aggresive,” coach Kasasa stated.
The men’s team is placed in the Group of death with Egypt second ranked in Africa, Ghana third in Africa and Nigeria.
Kasasa: “We went to Nairobi and beat Kenya to qualify; being Uganda’s first team to beat Kenya in the game of hockey therefore we are targeting to beat the best if we want to progress past group stages.”
The players also feel with the exposure gained by some foreign based players and the time they have been in camp, they’re just waiting for the right time to excute.
“The team is ready, our fitness has been improving day by day and since most of my collegues have been champions at the club level before we know we can negotiate through that group of death,” Moses Tushabe (player) said.
“We the foreign based players add alot to the team in terms of experience ahead of Uganda’s maiden Africa cup of nations.”
The mens team is comprised of 23 players ie 18 main and 5 on the reserve team.
Alfred Agaba, Ashraf Tumwesigye, Bosco Ochan, Brian Bayuule, Collines Batusa, Emmanuel Baguma, Jordan Mpima, Martin Okello, Maxwell Mugisha, Moses Tushabe, Peter Walusansa, Richard Kaijjuka, Solomon Mutalya, Richard Ssemwogerere, Stuart Kavuma, Thomas Opio and Timothy Ntumba
The five Reserve players are Charles Ekapolon, Brian Ofoyimungu, James Mugisha, Mathias Akanyihayo and Shafic Byamukama.
On the other hand, the women’s team is as well training daily for the same competition ie The Africa Hockey Cup of nations.
In the ladies category, Uganda is placed in the same group with defending champions South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
For this team it will be their first outing on the continent.
Moses Nsereko the head coach of the female hockey national team says all is moving as planned.
“We have been in camp since first week of november doing intendive training, team strucures and now we are working on the chemistry of the team,” said Nsereko.
“This is the first time ladies are going out of the country to compete on continental level and we hope to do our best.”
Having started a camp with 50 players, only 23 are remaining in camp ie 18 main players and 5 on the reserve team.
Aisha Kagere, Consolate Muber, Doreen Asiimwe, Doreen Mbabazi, Jolly Alimo, Joy Sserunjogi, Paula Kibwika, Pauline Korukundo, Lamulah Nakajjumba, Lucky Akello, Magaret Nassiwa, Naume Makila, Norah Alum, Suzan Ayomirowth, Sylvia Giramiya, Teopista Anyango, Thuaibah Kiggundu, Winnie Alaro.
The five on the reserve team are Angella Nakintu, Irene Nyapendi, Pauline Achom, Shakirah Nambooze, Vero Atima.