Kampala — This is what early preparation and timely execution of your duties gives you when you qualify for a major sporting event with a match to spare.
You are ahead of the others both in planning and deeds. You get to test starters at the high table long before event managers have signalled the first official call.
Those are some of the perks Uganda Cranes, who face Tanzania in their final 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Egypt qualifier on Sunday, are enjoying having booked their slot 90 minutes early.
The six-time Nations Cup finalists qualified for their upcoming seventh with 13 points, and are headed for a record 16 should they see off the Taifa Stars. To further prepare for that, and the finals tournament in Egypt, Fufa granted Cranes coach Sebastien Desabre's wish of camping in the country he managed in as the Frenchman looked to unleash one stone at two birds.
"I want to thank Fufa for making it happen," said Desabre ahead of the camp in Ismailia, where he managed a club named after the city itself before taking over Cranes reigns.
"It's good for us to camp there ahead of Tanzania but also I want the boys to get a feel of how it is like to play there. I want the boys to make the most if it."
Six venues in five cities will host this edition's finals in June and July with Ismailia one of them.
However, with the draws not taking place until April 12 in Cairo, Desabre and Uganda can only wait to find out what their base will be.
"We will have to wait for the draw but my wish is Ismailia for many different reasons."
The Frenchman is familiar with weather patterns and goings-on in Ismailia having managed there. But most importantly, he also will count of the local support as he left their club soaring high when he departed for the Cranes late 2017. He feels at home there. He will be at home there. Elsewhere, the team had their first residential training yesterday, with Joseph Ochaya, Emmanuel Okwi and Juuko Murushid having linked up with the squad from Kampala in Addis Ababa.
The remaining foreign-based players will join the rest in the course of the week.