Uganda captain Geoffrey Massa and his Baroka FC teammate Khalid Aucho have commenced training with the rest of the Cranes squad as they prepare for the upcoming 2017 AFCON.

Massa, who turned out in Baroka’s 1-0 loss to African champions Mamelodi Sundowns last Thursday in Polokwane, and Aucho took part in the full training session. The duo arrived in Kampala last Friday but were given three days off, one more than the rest.

US-based midfielder Mike Azira, who plies his trade for the Colorado Rapids, arrived on Monday night and did only a third of the session before doing a recovery session on his own.

Uganda coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic was visibly pleased with the arrival of the three professionals and said, “Azira is joining us from a different time zone and different climate so we tried to help him acclimatise to the training by doing 35%, then recovery.”

“Massa and Aucho have also joined and are involved in the full training session. It is good to have the three players join us. We now have a squad of 24 players this week until Friday, when we reduce the squad by one goalkeeper and three players.”

Aucho praised his teammates’ work rate and said, “We found the mood in camp is very high. Everyone is working very hard to make the final 23-man squad that will go to Gabon. This is very important for us as a team to work together.”

Five players will join the squad over the weekend including goalkeeper Robert Odongkara, Farouk Miya, William Luwagga Kizito, Geoffrey ‘Baba’ Kizito and Moses Oloya.