Desabre starts new life in dugout

Chan build-up friendlies

Today: Uganda vs Guinea

Tuesday: Uganda vs Congo

Chan 2018, Group B fixtures

Jan 14: Uganda vs Zambia

Jan 18: Uganda vs Namibia

Jan 22: Uganda vs Ivory Coast

From Asec Mimosa in Ghana – with several other African clubs in between also to his name – to Ismaily up north, where he left the side top of the Egyptian league as he took over the reins of Uganda Cranes, Sebastien Debrase has almost seen it all on the continent.

But today should be one of those special days in the 41-year-old’s coaching career. For a man who played semi-professional football in France before taking down to coaching seriously at age 26, Sebastien has racked up some experience in the dugout.

Yet the Frenchman still finds himself in unchartered territory when he takes charge of his first game in charge as Uganda Cranes coach today.

“I needed to take this step at some point and I think it’s a strong choice for me. It is a great moment for me to take charge of a National team that has potential because in this case Uganda Cranes has a nice and promising project,” Desabre said in a recent interview. “I feel ready to start given my experience.”

The Cranes, who are in final stages of preparation for the African Nations Championship (Chan) due to kick off on January 13 with hosts Morocco facing Mauritania, play Guinea today in the first of two friendly matches, with the other opponents being Congo Brazzaville on Tuesday.

Today’s match against Guinea will not only be Sebastien’s first match in charge of the Cranes, it will be the Frenchman’s first ever game in charge of a national team in his 15-year coaching career.

It is hardly a life and death affair against Guinea and Congo next week but Sebastien will definitely not mind starting off in earnest his national team coaching career with victory.

And for the players, work is cut out. The two friendlies will not only serve to confirm the Frenchman’s final 23-man squad; they will work to send two players back home, which puts an element of a final to the two matches.

The last time Uganda and Guinea squared off ended up in a 2-0 defeat away on a neutral venue in Casablanca, Morocco, which also put the final nail in Cranes 2015 Nations Cup qualification hopes.

Uganda, the four-time Chan finalists (appearances), start their as many attempts to progress from group stages against Zambia next Saturday.