Uganda striker Sekatuka delighted to make Cranes return

Uganda celebration Getty Images

Striker Nelson Senkatuka has revealed his delight at returning to the Uganda squad for the Cranes' World Cup qualifier away at Congo-Brazzaville on Sunday.

The East Africans are already out of the running after Egypt secured top spot in Group E, but will be keen to conclude an encouraging qualifying campaign with a win at the Stade Alphonse Massemba-Debat.

The Cranes head into the game without a permanent head coach following the departure of Milutin Sredojevic, with interim coach Moses Basena handing Senkatuka his first international invitation.

"This is a very good chance for me to play for the national team for the first time," the Bright Stars FC skipper told KweséESPN after being handed a return to the fold. "I am glad the coaches have identified my abilities.

"It's one of the best things to be part of the national team and I will make sure I use this chance well," he added. "If given a chance to play, I will make sure I work hard to try and score for the national team."

The 20-year-old former Proline FC striker is currently the leading marksman in the Uganda Premier League with four goals for Bright Stars FC, with his form clearly piquing the interest of Basena, who will be looking to use the Congo game to demonstrate that he deserves a shot at the Cranes job full time.

"He has what it takes to become much better," Basena told KweséESPN, "and I think it is time to give him this kind of exposure."

Uganda skipper Denis Onyango also commended the youngster's inclusion.

"Having the young lads play in some of these games gives them more confidence and helps them become better players," said the goalkeeper.

For Senkatuka, the fixture offers an opportunity to prove his worth ahead of the forthcoming regional Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup slated for November 25th to December 9th in Kenya, and the 2018 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) in Morocco.

"We are going all out to make sure we pick up a win in Congo because we need to finish strongly to be able to keep improving in the FIFA rankings and also to get the team well motivated," Basena concluded.