World Cup Qualifiers: Luwagga elated by return to Uganda Cranes ahead of Guinea fixture

Ugandan pacy winger William Kizito Luwagga is excited to return to the national football team, The Cranes after being out of for more than two years.

The Cranes are currently in preparations for the upcoming fixtures against Guinea and Somalia in the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.

Luwagga, who last played for Sabail FK in the Azerbaijan Pro League is currently contracted to Hapoel Rishon LeZion in the second tier of the Israeli football league.

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The Winger’s immense contribution was key for the Cranes’ qualification in the previous Africa Cup of Nations editions (2017 and 2019), and upon return to the national team, he expressed his joy saying being part of the final squad is an opportunity for him to not only represent his country but also to guide the younger players.

Luwagga stated; “It is always a pleasure to come back to the National Team. I’m always ready and working hard to represent my country. So I’m delighted to be here and try to help my country to do well. I need to be an example to the young players on the team.”

“We definitely have a good team, and as players, we only have to step up and do what is required of us.”

As the team prepares for the qualifiers, the 29-year-old winger has called upon fans to rally behind the Cranes, promising to make them proud.

Cranes boosted by new additions

Apart from Luwagga Kizito, the Uganda Cranes squad has also welcomed new additions, who include; goalkeepers Salim Omar Magoola and Ismail Watenga, along with defender Halidi Lwaliwa. An injury to Bobosi Byaruhanga may, however, sideline him from the crucial matches.

Midfielder Ramsey Kawooya (Express) will also join the Cranes’ squad to add depth to the team.

The recently appointed Belgian coach, Paul Put, shared insights after overseeing his first training session, acknowledging the challenges of establishing rapport and conveying his tactical vision.

“It’s always difficult with the first training, the first meeting with the players, so this was especially a little about introducing what I wanted to see on the pitch,” Put expressed.

Despite the challenges, Put commended the players for their commitment, emphasizing meticulous analysis and collaboration with his technical team to enhance the team’s performance.

“We will sit together with my technical team, and analyze this training, we have to see what to do better,” Put added, highlighting his proactive approach to enhancing the team’s performance.

Put’s technical team comprises Sam Ssimbwa (Assistant Coach), Parmentier Arnom (Physiotherapist), Sven De Wilde (Performance Manager), Mathieu Denis (Physical Fitness Coach), and Gery Osste (Goalkeeping Coach).

Uganda is pitted in Group G of the CAF World Cup Qualifiers alongside formidable opponents like Somalia, Guinea, Algeria, Botswana, and Mozambique, who are undergoing a transition.

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The Cranes will start the qualification campaign this Friday, November 17th, taking on Guinea in a tie that will be held at Stade du Municipal in Berkane, Morocco, and will four days later return at the same venue for the Somalia tie.

Only the top team from the group will secure qualification for the 2026 FIFA World Cup in North America, raising the stakes for the upcoming matches.

 As Uganda Cranes aim for glory in the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, the football community eagerly awaits the unfolding journey of this dynamic team.

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