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McKinstry: Uganda hungry to get back to Afcon, play at the World Cup

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The youthful tactician has also revealed he will bring a wide pool of players to increase competition in the team

Uganda head coach Johnathan McKinstry has revealed the selection of players for the national team will be down to their individual performance.

The East African side is preparing for the African Nations Championship (Chan) competition set to be played in January in Cameroon, while the postponed Africa Cup of Nations will take place the following year, also in Cameroon.

“The Uganda Cranes players are hungry to get back to Afcon and play at the Fifa World Cup,” McKinstry said as quoted by Federation of Uganda Football Associations (Fufa)

“We are all hungry for football to resume. Selection will purely be down to player performance. 

“There is a wide pool of players to think about and select; these are players in the domestic league, in the diaspora league, and those of Ugandan heritage playing elsewhere. If u want to put on the treasured Uganda Cranes shirt, you have to be on top of your game.”

The 34-year-old has also explained the importance of monitoring the national team players, as well as selecting a wider pool of players to build a team from.

“There is a need for continuous assessment of the players, monitoring all and they must maintain that high performance,” he continued.

“The wider the pool of players, the more competition it brings to the team, the more competition, the better the 11 we shall have to produce.”

The Northern Irish coach believes the current coronavirus pandemic, which has caused the suspension of football activities, can be a blessing in disguise for the fans and the whole country at large.

“Uganda is a football-loving country. Fine, the supporters have been frustrated with no football action but let us turn this frustration into positive energy. Remember the fans are part of this beautiful journey,” he concluded.

In the postponed Chan competition which was initially scheduled for April 4-25, the Cranes were placed in Group C alongside defending champions Morocco, West African side Togo and neighbours Rwanda.

In the 2022 Afcon qualifiers, the Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) defending champions are in Group B alongside Burkina Faso, Malawi and South Sudan.

The Cranes and Burkina Faso are on six points each, Malawi is on three points with South Sudan without a point.

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