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    The Uganda Cranes Spot Between the Posts Is Now Very Open – Who Will Immediately Replace Onyango? Goalkeepers Open Up…

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    The Uganda Cranes spot between the posts is now very open after Onyango's retirement

    “Onyango Over-Reliance” To Catch Up With The Cranes

    The Uganda Cranes former captain and number one goal keeper, Dennis Masinde Onyango announced his retirement from international football, a decision that utterly shocked so many football followers.

    Uganda Cranes goal keeping coach, Fred Kajoba says that he tried to convince the shot stopper to at least serve the national team in the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers in June, but he had already made up his mind. That implies that the team was not ready for Onyango’s departure yet.

    ONYANGO #18: Another G. O. A. T

    To Ugandan tactician, Asaph Mwebase, Onyango has now joined that very limited list of the country’s undisputed G.O.A.Ts (Greatest Of All Time) besides Phillip Omondi and Magid Musisi. (Both attackers unlike Onyango- a goal keeper).

    “Argentina had Maradona, Cameroon had Roger Milla, France had Zidane, Romania had Hagi, Portugal has Ronaldo, Egypt has Salah then Uganda has been blessed with Onyango,” coach Asaph adds.

    Infact, another up and coming Cranes’ star Allan Okello has suggested that Onyango’s shirt #18 be retired for “it’s too big” for other players to fit in it.

    It has almost been an Onyango plus his gloves equals Uganda Cranes equation. Not to say he has been the only player on the team, but you can’t refute the fact that he has been so instrumental on the team as a goal keeper; The kind of reliance so synonymous with attacking players.

    Thank You Onyango: Time To Move On

    Well, Onyango’s retirement is not a good thing to rejoice about, but nevertheless, atleast it’s also an opportunity for other custodians to rise to the occasion.

    The number one goalkeeping spot on the Uganda Cranes team is now very open, and the various keepers in pecking order, which order has also been changing every now and then can now “fairly” battle for it with assurance that they’ll start the game. Unlike other outfield football players, like say forwards who can easily come from the bench to impress, a goal keeper is only as good as how often he starts for the team.

    Onyango has literally been the first, and only second to himself in goal for the Uganda Cranes since taking over from Posnet Umony.

    For over 10 years, Onyango’s choice as Uganda’s number one goalie has been undisputed. Before his retirement, he has been arguably regarded as the best player on the team, having guided the Uganda Cranes to two successive AFCON tournaments in Gabon 2017 and Egypt 2019.

    Onyango made his international debut on 18th June 2005 during a World Cup qualifying match against Cape Verde. He made a record 75 Caps in the National team colours.

    Ugandan Goal Keepers Speak Out;

    James Alitho (Zanaco-Zambia):

    He never stops advising and guiding his juniors. I talk to him so often and he is so open to offering guidance at any time. He makes himself so available even with his very tight work schedule. He is just a free guy.

    I can’t count the times he’s helped me. He has on uncountable occasions gifted me with playing gloves- it meant so much to me.

    I’m sad about his retirement, but I trust his judgement. Now it’s time for us the younger goalkeepers to show what we’re made of. As Uganda, I believe we’re so gifted with goalkeepers. Offcourse it will be a tight decision to choose who starts the next game in absence of Onyango, we have so many from which to choose.

    Ismael Watenga (Chippa United-S. Africa):

    It’s unfortunate that Denis has retired from the national team but we should celebrate him. His leadership and guidance have always been very important to us younger players. 

    Personally, I owe Denis a lot because he played an instrumental role to see that I move to South Africa. I greatly appreciate him and his contribution towards my career.

    Denis and I have shared a lot on and off the pitch and he happens to be a player everyone would wish to work with. He is a player that inspires the young generation. That’s why we thank God because He gave us Denis. 

    We should celebrate him as a national hero because he served his nation wholeheartedly, raised the Ugandan flag so high and made Ugandan citizens proud of their country. I wish him all the best at club level.

    Salim Jamal (Al-Hilal Club-Sudan):

    With great honor, I’m lucky to have been under Onyango’s great contribution to the Uganda Cranes. I learnt alot from him. On the national team, I was not so bothered playing as number two to Africa’s number one.

    Brian Bwete Zigi (Shire Endaselassie FC-Ethiopia):

    For three consecutive years, I received every pair of gloves Onyango used in a game at Namboole (with or without the team) plus Mamelodi Sundowns training kits. He gave me all the kind of support I required from him until i became a man and turned professional as well.

    I can’t forget how he travelled from S. Africa to specifically attend my wedding. He did the same for Emmanuel Okwi.

    Charles Lukwago (KCCA-Uganda):

    Onyango to me is a captain, leader and role model. I thank him for everything he has done for the team, and I wish him good luck in his next chapter.

    Mathias Kigonya (Azam FC-Tanzania):

    As my compatriot, Onyango has retired from international duties. All I can I say is thank him for his services. He has been and is still a great brother.

    Onyango is a gentleman on and off the pitch, and a leader in the dressing room.

    He has inspired many players worldwide and he’s a role model to many of us.

    Who Will Immediately Replace Onyango?

    Going by the most previous selection, Salim Jamal, Charles Lukwago and Mathias Kigonya will most probably be the first names on the list to claim Onyango’s spot between the posts.

    If settled in well at their current clubs, with enough playing time, Ismael Watenga and James Alitho can both fill that void. They have both relatively been in the Cranes’ set up for a period of time.

    Otherwise, a very long list of good Ugandan goalkeepers stand in line to succeed Onyango; including Joel Mutakubwa, Robert Odongkara, Jack Komakeck and Benjamin Ochan.

    By Baron Kironde

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    FUFA Bans All Fans From Stadiums!…

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    Nelson Mandela Memorial Stadium-Namboole

    FUFA has issued Circular number 1136 directing all clubs not to admit fans to the stadiums until further notice.

    The communication signed off by the FUFA Deputy CEO-Football Decolas Kiiza was issued on Thursday 3rd June 2021.

    The circular addressed to FUFA Members, Special Interest Groups of FUFA and Stakeholders reads;

    As you are all aware according to statistics from the Ministry of Health there is an upsurge in the number of COVID-19 cases as well as deaths in Uganda.

    FUFA had earlier allowed up to 200 fans to watch FUFA organised and FUFA authorized competitions with strong adherence to Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). This is no longer tenable in the current situation.

    Therefore, in order to ensure the Health and Safety of players, Technical staff and all stakeholders, all matches shall be played without spectators or fans until further notice.

    “As we wind up the 1st Division, 2nd Division and the Uganda Cup there shall be no fans in the stadiums,” FUFA emphasised, encouraging teams to limit all other authorized personnel to the bear minimum.

    As per the warning, SOPs must be strictly observed and COVID-19 vaccination enhanced by football officials and players throughout the country.

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    Mukwala Joins Cranes Camp!…

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    URA striker Steven Mukwala has been summoned to the Cranes camp

    URA FC striker Steven Mukwala has joined the Uganda Cranes camp after a late call up by interim coach Abdallah Mubiru.

    The summoned squad of 34 players is preparing for an international friendly match against Bafana Bafana slated for 10th June 2021 in South Africa.

    Mukwala now joins three other tax collectors in the Cranes camp including his club captain Shafik Kagimu, Patrick Mbowa and Ivan Sserubiri to bring the number to four.

    URA’s number nine has so far had 20 goal involvements in 24 league appearances this season. Second, on the top scorers’ chart with only two goals less, Mukwala has scored 14 goals and assisted up to six times.

    The striker has already surpassed his last season’s tally where he scored 13 goals in 21 games hence finishing as the league’s top scorer of the 2019/20 season. The season was abandoned after 25 games due to the emergence of the Covid19 pandemic.

    The 21-year-old joins Mubiru’s side outfit hugely dominated by young players mostly featuring in the domestic league, while others make their debut appearances on the National team.

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    Fred Kajoba Deserts Vipers SC After Argument With His Boss…

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    Fred Kajoba

    Fred Kajoba has definitely left his role as head coach of Vipers Sports.

    According to local sports website Footbal256, Kajoba decided to end his relationship with Vipers SC after the club’s technical director Charles Masembe asked him to decide between Vipers and the Uganda Cranes.

    “When I went for our afternoon training session at Vipers, Mr. Masembe called me in his office and asked me to choose between Vipers and Uganda,” Kajoba told Football256.

    “Without thinking twice, I told him I choose Uganda, when Vipers hired me I was working with the Uganda Cranes and I will always choose the Cranes any day over any club job.”

    “So I have resigned from the job, I have said my good byes to the players and I am leaving the premises now,” Kajoba added as he left St Mary’s Stadium.

    Apparently, Kajoba at the expense of Vipers’ training had earlier today been part of the Cranes training at the MTN Omondi Stadium Lugogo as the side commenced preparations for their June 10th friendly with South Africa in Johannesburg.

    Trouble ensued there, provided that there is less than 48 hours to Viper’s Stanbic Uganda Cup quarterfinal return leg against SC Villa at the Military barracks in Bombo.

    Kajoba joined Vipers midway the 2019/2020 StarTimes Uganda Premier League season and led them to their fourth title much as the season was cancelled with five games to.

    It is not yet clear whether Kajoba leaves with his trusted right hand man Paul Kiwanuka or the latter will stay to see Vipers through the reminder of the season together with Francis Mugerwa and goalkeeping coach Ibrahim Mugisha.

    Before his resignation, Vipers were third on the Premier League log on 56 points, two points behind log leaders Express and one point behind second placed URA.

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