By Frank Kamuntu
Uganda Cranes coach Johnny McKinstry has revealed why he axed Allan Kateregga and Salim Jamal from the provisional squad for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The Northern Irishman is handling the Cranes for the first time after replacing Sebastien Desabre, who was fired after the 2019 AFCO finals held in Egypt.
While naming his team for the upcoming matches against Burkina Faso and Malawi, McKinstry opted to leave out midfielder Kateregga and goalkeeper Jamal, who reportedly were very vocal in the team strike in Cairo in July.
“Being a backup goalkeeper like Sudan-based Jamal, who has also been cheekily jabbing FUFA on social media, is frustrating, because you fly around the world but you don’t get to play.
“I don’t want three foreign-based goalkeepers on my team and will henceforth be the norm. Two foreign-based and one local-based,” McKinstry expounded.
McKinstry admitted he hadn’t got enough time to ring the desired changes, which explains why a big percentage of the players he summoned was used by his predecessor Desabre.
“Our preparation time is remarkably short because I will only get time to work with the full squad on Tuesday when we play the following day [against Burkina Faso],” McKinstry continued.
“If I was to make significant changes it wouldn’t be possible with the time available.”
Explaining why only five players from the local league had been called, on top of dropping Krizestom Ntambi and Allan Kayiwa, who played in the recent Ethiopian friendly, the coach highlighted the gap in class.
“There is a gap between the UPL players and the foreign-based [ones] and when we see what they can offer and the others cannot, then we summon them.
“I could have called more than five but at the moment I will work with those five [Charles Lukwago, Fahad Bayo, Nicholas Kasozi, Halid Lwaliwa, and Allan Okello].”
The Cranes preparations start on November 9 and they will then face Burkina Faso in the first group match on November 13.