Emma Okwi and Brian Umony were the two prominent faces missing as Uganda named their preliminary squad to start preparations for the Gabon 2017 African Cup of Nations finals.
The two stars have struggled with injury and not had enough playing time in the past year with their clubs.
Uganda Cranes head coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic on Wednesday named 40 players – 5 goalkeepers, 12 defenders, 15 midfielders and 8 strikers – to compete for 23 places in the final team to Gabon.
“We selected a blend of experience and youth who are the future of Ugandan football. No body will be gifted and awarded place, as from now on the counter is on zero, where all 40 players are in healthy competition to earn and deserve to be in the final 23,” Micho said.
Uganda will face Ghana, Egypt and Mali in their group games. Uganda last appeared in the final in 1978, where they were beaten to the title by hosts Ghana.
Goal Keepers: Denis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundown, South Africa), Robert Odongkara (St George FC, Ethiopia), Jamal Salim (El Merriekk, Sudan), Isma Watenga (Vipers SC, Uganda), Benjamin Ochan (KCCA FC, Uganda)
Defenders: Ronald Mukiibi (Östersunds FK, Sweden), Denis Iguma (Al Ahed, Lebanon), Joseph Nsubuga (SC Villa Jogoo, Uganda), Nicholas Wadada (Vipers SC, Uganda), Joseph Ochaya (KCCA, Uganda), Shafiq Batambuze (Tusker FC, Kenya), Murushid Juuko (Simba FC, Tanzania), Isaac Isinde (St George FC, Ethiopia), Timothy Awany (KCCA FC, Uganda), Richard Kassaga Jjuuko (URA FC, Uganda), Halid Lwaliwa (Vipers, Uganda), Rashid Toha (Onduparaka FC, Uganda)
Midfielders: Khalid Aucho (Baroka, South Africa), Tonny Mawejje (Knattspyrnufélagið Þróttur, Iceland), Hassan Wasswa Mawanda (Vipers SC, Uganda), Mike Azira (Colorado Rapids, USA), Geoffrey Kizito (Than Quảng Ninh, Vietnam), Kizito Keziron (Vipers SC, Uganda), Muzamiru Mutyaba (KCCA FC, Uganda), Yassar Mugerwa (St George FC, Ethiopia), Saddam Juma (Express FC, Uganda), Moses Oloya (Kuban Kransnodor, Russia), William Kizito Luwagga (Rio Ave, Portugal), Godfrey ‘Jajja Walu’ Walusimbi (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Paul Mucurezi (KCCA, Uganda), Martin Kiiza (SC Villa, Uganda) and Abdulmalick Vitalis Tabu (SC Villa, Uganda)
Strikers: Faruku Miya (Standard Liege, Belgium), Geoffrey Massa (Baroka, South Africa), Geoffrey Sserunkuma (KCCA, Uganda), Mohammed Shaban (Onduparaka FC, Uganda), Yunus Sentamu (Ilves, Finland), Derrick Nsibambi (KCCA FC, Uganda), Edrisa Lubega (Proline FC, Uganda), Erisa Ssekisambu (Vipers SC, Uganda).