Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Frenchman Sebastien Desabre started his reign as new Cranes coach by visiting the national team’s training camp for the CHAN 2018 qualifiers.
Uganda appointed Desabre on Thursday as their new coach on a two-year deal to replace Milutin Sredojevic who resigned in July.
“I am very happy to be in Uganda. I am more than ready to serve Uganda Cranes. My good experience in Africa will be very vital,” Desabre told the media at FUFA house.
The 41-year-old Desabre, who has been coaching Egyptian league club Ismailia, was one of four names on a shortlist released by the Uganda Football Federation (FUFA) early this month to take over the vacant post. Desabre will be assisted by Ugandan Mathias Lule as assistant coach and Fred Kajoba as goalkeeping coach.
The other candidates in the list formulated by a selection panel headed by Zambian football legend Kalusha Bwalya were Moses Basena, who has been serving as the team’s interim coach, Belgian Emilio Ferrera and Johnny McKinstry from Northern Ireland.
Desabre, who has vast knowledge in African club football, but has never coached a national team, is due to start his new role when he leads Uganda to the fifth African Nations Championships (CHAN) finals starting in Morocco on January 12.
Uganda are drawn in Pool B alongside Zambia, Ivory Coast and Namibia.
A day earlier, he resigned as coach of Egyptian Premier League side Ismaily, an indication that he was going to be unveiled as Uganda Cranes new head coach .
The unveiling ceremony was conducted by the FUFA Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Edgar Watson, flanked by the FUFA Executive Committee Member Hamid Juma, who represented the FUFA President Eng. Moses Magogo (away on official duties) and Ronnie Kalema (FUFA Executive Committee member), FUFA Delegates and staff.
Watson warmly welcomed the new coach to Uganda, saying “government was fully involved in the entire process. Desabre will supervise all the national development teams (U-23, U-20 and U-17) because FUFA’s philosophy is to build football from the grass-roots.”
Desabre has previously been at Recreativo do Libolo in Angola, Esperance in Tunisia, Asec in Ivory Coast and Wydad in Morocco, which he left in January 2017.
Basena has been in charge of the Cranes in CHAN and World Cup qualifiers, including a stunning 1-0 win over Egypt, while McKinstry was in charge of Rwanda until last year.
This final short list of coaches was sieved by a five-man technical team headed by former Zambia FA boss Kalusha Bwalya.
The panel also had Edgar Watson (FUFA Chief Executive Officer), Asuman Lubowa (FUFA Technical Director), Stone Kyambadde (Technical Committee chairperson) and Dr. Bernard Patrick Ogwel (National Council of Sports)
FUFA and the Government have discussed remuneration of the new coach, according to FUFA CEO Watson, but he did not give details. Reports indicate the new coach will get $25,000 monthly.
Edgar Watson: I present to you the new head coach of the Uganda Cranes, Sebastien Desabre. The 41yr old, French national signed a 3 yr deal which is renewable. pic.twitter.com/5o7ne18sK8
— Andrew Kabuura. (@andrewkabuura) December 28, 2017
New Cranes Head coach @Seb_Desabre meets his assistant Matia Lule on day 1of the @UgandaCranes training for CHAN at Nambole outer pitch@UsherKomugisha @CAF_Online @PRAU_Uganda pic.twitter.com/JOReNqeoSD
— Federation of Uganda Football Associations [FUFA] (@OfficialFUFA) December 28, 2017
Meanwhile, FUFA has applauded Basena for his efforts during the period he has served as Interim coach of Uganda Cranes. Desabre is reported to be on a flight to Kampala for the FUFA presser.
He has now been selected by FUFA for a Special Coaching Development Programme in the United States of America next year. He is the first to benefit from this programme.
In a statement, FUFA said it appreciates Basena’s achievements with Development and results registered during the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup, qualifiers for the CHAN and 2018 FIFA World cup Russia.
“FUFA Introduced the Long Term coaching programme as a way towards developing coaches for further educational progammes with an aim of improving the technical expertise of our coaches actively involved in the League,” the statement said.