What Next for Uganda Cranes?

When Uganda Cranes lost 6-0 to Tunisia in the Afcon qualifiers in February 1999, a number of players announced their retirement from International football. Fred Kajoba, Derrick Muyanja, Wilbur Musika and George Semwogerere were all part of the Cranes team on that fateful day. They, along a couple of others, immediately called it quits.

Ideally, this would have given way to younger players coming through the ranks. We had a good number of them with international experience under their belts. The 1999 Kobs team that qualified for the all-Africa games, in my view, is the team that would have effortlessly qualified for a couple of Afcon tourneys.

They looked more than capable to take over from the old guard. But fate had other ideas. A good number of them took on other interests and the entire set up literary disintegrated. I shudder to imagine how far they would have gone had they stayed together.

Sam Kawalya, Ibra Sekagya, Geofrey Bukohore, Arthur Byansiima, Aggrey Bigala, David Obua, Andrew Mukasa, Hassan Mubiru, Robert Tumusiime, Jamil Kyambadde and Phillip Ssozi and Co appeared to have acquired such a telepathic understanding that every time they lined up, we would be confident of getting a positive result.

Byansiima, Hussein Ssali, Bukohore amp Bigala went to the US for studies and other interests, while Andrew Mukasa’s troubles started to manifest. A new Cranes set-up had be built. Ssozi(to an extent), Obua and Sekagya remained part of the team, but it still came across as a disjointed squad that only flattered to deceive.

Fast forward to 2014, and it’s the same old story. A 36 year soap opera. Uganda Cranes remains a team full of so many weak links. A gambling Andy Mwesigwa for Captain. A running headless chicken that is Geoffrey Massa, and a midfield that lacks a creative spark.

When will we ever get a potent forward line? We had a perennial Kenya Premier league player of the year in Daniel Serunkuuma that could not get playing time. Andy Mwesigwa’s weaknesses were finally exposed after Sekagya called it quits. While Dennis Onyango has been decent, I think Geoffrey Massa should quit football.

It’s time we had another rebuilding process. A similar approach that produced that class of ’99. Oh, and we need another coach. In my view, Bobby Williamson was a decent coach who could only work with what he had at his disposal.

Source : The Independent

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