By Norman Isaac Mwambazi
Pre-CHAN mini tournament
Today, Monday, December 4, 2021, 6 pm
Uganda vs. Zambia
Former Uganda Cranes coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic is set to meet his former employers Uganda for the first time since he left the job in 2017 shortly after the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament in Gabon, the first time Uganda had been in the continental tournament in nearly 40 years.
Micho is now the head coach of the Zambian national football team nicknamed Chipolopolo, and they will entertain the Uganda Cranes in a pre-CHAN tournament today at 6 pm.
This tournament was organised to act as a build-up for the squads of the selected countries for the forthcoming CHAN tournament in Cameroon. The mini-tourney was supposed to be held last year in March but was postponed, as was the final tournament, due to the COVID-19 pandemic,
In the re-organised mini-tournament in Cameroon, the Serbian gets reunited with some of his former Cranes colleagues and players.
“It is an emotional reunion for me with Cranes. But I need to go over it and look at my team to get good performance and results while we both prepare for Chan,” Micho said in an interview with the Daily Monitor.
He added, “It’s just a check-up for Cranes and Chipolopolo. Nothing else. I have the highest degree of respect for coach Johnny [McKinstry] and his technical team and equally for the players led by veteran Tonny Mawejje. He is the perfect balance between maturity, seniority and experience and young players that have a bright future.”
McKinstry succeeded Sebastien Desabre, who was Micho’s immediate successor with Cranes.
Cranes coach McKinstry believes this mini-tourney is about putting the players in the best physical and mental shape, and not merely scorelines.
“We said coming into this that this little tournament wasn’t about results. It’s about taking on very good opposition like the hosts and getting us ready for the main tournament.”
Uganda open their CHAN finals campaign two weeks from now on January 18, 2021, against neighbours Rwanda.