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Shaban returns to Cranes squad for Gabon, Mauritania friendlies

Uganda Cranes coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic has recalled Muhammad Shaban to his squad for the upcoming friendly matches later this month.

South Africa based duo of goalkeeper Ismail Watenga and Moses Waiswa are the only foreign-based players that have been included on Micho’s 21-man squad that will play in both games.

Striker Patrick Kaddu who is still without a club but has been training with former side KCCA FC since he parted ways with Moroccan side RS Berkane has also been called up for the games.

The Cranes play Gabon on December 30 and against Mauritania on January 1, 2022, as both nations step up their preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations tournament that kicks off on January 9.

The two friendlies will be played in Abu Dhabi and the team is expected to depart for the Middle East on December 29, after the final matchday of StarTimes Uganda Premier League for 2021.

‘We are assembling the Uganda Cranes team that will be competitive to feature in several upcoming engagements like the AFCON 2013 and CHAN 2022 qualifiers,” Micho said.

“Such international build-up matches are a perfect measure for early preparations,” he added.

Muhammad Shaban last featured for the Cranes during the 2021 African Nations Championships, coming on as a substitute for the final 36 minutes of Uganda’s 5-2 defeat to Morocco.

At CHAN, he also played the entire 90 minutes in a 2-1 defeat to Togo, but limited playing time at club level had ruled him out of subsequent games including all six 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers under Micho.

The former KCCA and Vipers SC striker has recently found his form, scoring five goals in his last six appearances for Onduparaka, including scoring in the last three games consecutively.

The summoned team:

Goalkeepers: Watenga Isma (Chippa United), Mutakubwa Joel (Express FC), Komakech Jack (Vipers SC)

Defenders: Kizito Gavin (SC Villa), Iguma Denis (KCCA FC), Kayondo Aziiz (Vipers SC), Juma Ibrahim (KCCA FC), Lwaliwa Khalid (Vipers SC), Najib Fesali (URA FC), Walusimbi Enock (Express FC), Ssemakula Kenneth (SC Villa)

Midfielders: Byaruhanga Bobosi (Vipers SC), Kakooza Mahad (Express FC), Waiswa Moses (SuperSport United), Kizza Martin (Express FC)

Forwards: Kaddu Patrick (unattached), Sentamu Yunus (Vipers SC), Orit Ibrahim (Vipers SC), Mutyaba Travis (SC Villa), Mukwala Steven (URA FC), Mohamed Shaban (Onduparaka FC)

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