Uganda coach Johnny McKinstry says the Cranes are “in a good position” to go beyond the group stage of this year’s African Nations Championship (CHAN) for the first time.
The tournament for home-based players kicks off in Cameroon on 4 April, with Uganda drawn in Group C alongside holders Morocco, Togo and Rwanda.
Uganda have never reached the knock-out phase in this competition and McKinstry believes they can end that streak this year.
“I think when you look at Uganda’s performance at CHAN over the years, it’s probably been one of the disappointments for Ugandan football,” McKinstry said after Monday’s draw.
“The Ugandan Premier League is a very competitive league. Every year, seven, eight, nine players get the chance to move out of Uganda – which shows you that clubs here in the UPL are doing something right.
“They’re developing good, talented players – ready to move outside Uganda. But that hasn’t been reflected in the CHAN performances. ” said McKinstry. who has previously coached Sierra Leone and Rwanda in Africa,
He says there are many reasons for Uganda’s previous CHAN performances.
“One of them might be that in previous years, Uganda has qualified for CHAN. But then before the finals come around, a number of the players who played as part of the qualification process, have already left.
“But this team largely remains in tact. So – we believe we’re in a good position. We go into the tournament ready for it and looking to take that next step into the quarter-finals and hopefully beyond.
“We have the talent to go deep in the tournament. We just need to perform when it comes to the matches,” McKinstry added.
The CHAN will take place in Yaounde, Douala and Limbe and will also serve as a warm-up for Cameroon ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations in 2021.
Groups at 2020 African Nations Championship (CHAN):
- Group A: Cameroon, Mali, Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe
- Group B: Libya, DR Congo, Congo, Niger
- Group C: Morocco, Rwanda, Togo, Uganda
- Group D: Zambia, Guinea, Namibia, Tanzania