KCCA eager to leave a mark among big guns

After making history as the first Uganda Club to reach CAF Champions League group stages, Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) are ready to make a mark on the continent for the second time.

KCCA will have to tussle out with eight-time champions Al Ahly of Egypt and Tunisia' Esperance and debutants Township Rollers from Botswana in Group A, a challenge they believe is achievable this time round coupled with last year's experience in the second-tier CAF Confederation Cup.

The Uganda champions start their campaign away in Gaborone against Township Rollers on Friday, one of the surprise packets this term, and KCCA are cautious after the former eliminated East African giants Young of Tanzania.

After playing several domestic games in recent weeks, fatigue appears to have set in to the camp of the Kampala-based club, however the team technical bench believes the squad can match the pressure and start with a positive result on the road.

We have the ability to match the best team in Africa because we are here on merit. We are aware of the threat Township Rollers can cause because they have our former player Ivan Ntege but we shall remain head on because they play our style. The better team will carry the day, said KCCA coach Mike Mutebi.

KCCA has a young squad mixed blended with few experienced players with an average age of 25, making them a team to watch out.

This is the third year with this squad and they have gained experience over the years and we are ready to move on. We tested the waters last year with no ability to swim but now we can swim because the waters are fresh for us and the boys are used to it, Mutebi added.

KCCA didn't win any game away from home during the 2017 CAF Confederation Cup, but the targets this year is to pick up positive results at the opponent's backyard.

We struggled away from home last year. Now we know how to handle the pressure away from home and we want to get positive results. Every team is strong at home and we are prepared to start the mission in Gaborone, captain Timothy Awanyi remarked.

The Ugandans will be without first choice goalie Charles Lukwago who is suspended but Mutebi is optimistic second choice Tom Ikara will pass the test.

It's sad we shall miss him (Lukwago) but this is not the time to cry because we have a deep squad. I know he (Ikara) will be ready to show what he is made of, the trainer concluded.

Former winners' Ahly and Esperance will slug it out in the other Group A match in the Mediterranean resort city of Alexandria, also on Friday.

Source: Confederation Africaine de Football

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