KCCA Football Club midfielder Gift Ali Abubaker was named in Uganda Cranes preliminary 30 man squad to prepare for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
Gift 28, returns to the Cranes fold after years not earning the call despite having impressive seasons at Lugogo.
Gift didn’t make cut under coaches; Sebastien Desabre, Jonathan MnKinstry and Abadallah Mubiru, but finally makes it under Micho on his second stint.
Sports256.com highlights on what the hugely gifted Gift Ali brings to the Cranes fold.
Leadership; Gift has always exhibited leadership skills on and off the pitch since his time at the then prestigious Proline soccer academy. He captained the Hippos (U-20) during his teenage time and has been among those key faces at Lugogo.
Natural abilities & Quality; No doubt very few players in Uganda premier league can match Gift’s quality. He is a kind of player naturally
Versatility; Gift is a natural attacking midfielder who was transformed to a defensive midfield role at KCCA FC. He can as well play as a winger. He is a player who can easily play in a 4:3:3, 3:5:2 and 4:3:2:1 systems.
Experience; Having gone through the best youth set ups in the country, Proline SA and Old Kampala SSS. Captained and represented the national youth teams at different levels. At 28, Managed more than seven seasons in the top tier, he is at the prime of his career and shine for his country.
Mike Azira Replacement? ; His call was timely after Azira’s retirement he could be a perfect replacement for his calmness and intelligence.
An intelligent player; Many of you will agree with me that he is one of the if not the most intelligent player in the StarTimes Uganda premier.
The Proline Soccer Academy graduate has previously played for Proline FC and Police FC under Abdallah Mubiru.
The Uganda Cranes head coach Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic and the members of the technical team met the players for the first time at the Cranes Paradise Hotel in Kisaasi on Sunday, 15th August 2021 according to Fufa.co.ug
In the meeting, Micho urged the players to respect the football brand, front loyalty and believe in themselves.
‘I am happy to meet you. Please respect the football brand, be patriotic at all times. No one should love Uganda more than you. Believe in yourself as well as build the mental and spiritual strength’ Micho revealed to the players.
Micho will be assisted by coach Moses Basena, Fred Kajoba (goalkeeping coach) and Geofrey Massa (team manager)
Fitness and Performance director Franck Plaine joined the technical team immediately for work as the team embarks on the first training session on Monday at Kabira Country Club, Bukoto in Kampala (9 AM).
The full summoned squad;
Express FC’s Martin Kizza, Muzamimuru Mutyaba also return after long.
Mbarara City young star Jude Semugabi is the new face in the squad.
It will be a double session with the afternoon session at the MTN Omondi stadium.
Uganda Cranes will have a training camp in Jordan with two international build up matches against Syria before another international warm up against Ethiopia according to FUFA website.
The preparation road map is geared towards the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Kenya on 2nd September 2021 in Nairobi.
2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers | Preparations
Friday, 13th August 2021 – Preliminary squad of local based players plus foreign-based players currently in Uganda summoned.
Saturday, 14th August 2021 – Team enters residential camp at Cranes Paradise Hotel after undergoing COVID-19 tests.
Monday, 16th August 2021 – Team starts training (Kabira Country Club – 9 AM & MTN Omondi Stadium – 4:30 PM)
Tuesday, 17th August 2021 – Training (MTN Omondi Stadium – 9 AM & City Gym – 5 PM)
Wednesday, 18th – Friday, 20th August 2021 – Training sessions (Venues to be confirmed)
Saturday, 21st August 2021 – Team departs for foreign training camp in Jordan (2 build-up games against Syria will be played here on 23rd and 26th August).
Friday, 27th August 2021 – Team departs for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Majority of the foreign based players will join the team there
Sunday, 29th August 2021 – Friendly game against Ethiopia
Tuesday, 31st August 2021 – Team arrives in Nairobi for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Kenya.
Thursday, 2nd September 2021 – Kenya Vs Uganda at Nyayo Stadium, Nairobi