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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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    I’m Going To Win Commonwealth Medal For My Mum Who Was Knocked By Speeding Boda Boda – Bombers Captain Vows…

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    Bombers captain Joshua Tukamuhebwa in action

    Bombers captain Joshua Tukamuhebwa has told theGrapevine that he is determined to win a medal at this year’s commonwealth games in Birmingham, England for his late mother.

    Tukamuhebwa’s mother, Enid Bindishanga died after she was knocked by a speeding motor bike along Jinja Road.

    Enid had gone at the meat parker along Port Bell Road to buy meat for the family.

    She was rushed to hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

    “I am going to do everything possible to win a medal in this competition for my mum,” the Naguru based boxer said.

    Tukamuhebwa narrated that after his mother’s death, life became meaningless because she meant a lot to him and his siblings, “that’s why I want to win a medal in her memory.”

    I AM THE FATHER NOW

    Tukamuhebwa  also disclosed that after his mum’s death, he is now the bread winner at home and has to act like a parent to his young siblings and also look for their school fees.

    I WILL USE THE MONEY I GET TO HELP MY SIBLINGS

    He added that he is going to use the money government will give him as his facilitation, funds from Uganda Boxing Federation (UBF) president Moses Muhangi and President Museveni’s pledge if he wins a medal, to cater for his siblings.

    This will be Tukamuhebwa’s second international competition after the all Africa games in 2019 in Morocco, where he was defeated in the first encounter.

    The commonwealth games are scheduled to take place between 28th July to 8th August 2022.

    Uganda will be represented in several sports disciplines which include; boxing, athletics, swimming, squash, table tennis, badminton, rugby 7’s and netball.

    theGrapevine wishes our men and women the best in Birmingham.

     

    By Juma Ali

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    UOC President Discusses How Team Uganda Is Prepared To Sweep Medals In Commonwealth Games And How They Are Going To Handle Issue Of Athletes Disappearing…

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    President Museveni with wife Janet flagging off Teams for the Commonwealth games. Bottom right is UOC boss Donald Rukare

    Few days are left to the commonwealth games that are scheduled to take place in Birmingham in England, between 28th July to 8th August 2022.

    Uganda will be represented in several sports disciplines which include; boxing, athletics, swimming, squash, table tennis, badminton, rugby 7’s and netball .

    In the last edition, in 2018, bomber’s boxers Reagan Ssimbwa, Nasir Bashir and table tennis player Halimah Nambooze disappeared in Gold Coast in Australia and never returned with the team.

    This has been a norm after several international games. Some athletes disappear after the games in search for greener pastures.

    theGrapevine sat down with Uganda Olympic Committee president Donald Rukare to discuss how the Ugandan team is prepared for the games and how they are going to handle the issue of athletes disappearing.

    Grapevine: How are you prepared for the commonwealth games as team Uganda?

    Rukare: The preparation are good and we are ready to win medals.

    Grapevine: How many medals do you hope to win this time around?

    Rukare: In 2014, we got 5 medals, in 2018 we scooped 6 medals, this time around we hope to double the medals we got in 2018 to twelve or more.

    Grapevine: Of all athletes, who do you think has more chances of getting a medal?

    Rukare: All the athletes have equal chances of getting medals.

    Grapevine: What were the challenges you are facing as you prepare the teams for the commonwealth games?

    Rukare: We still need financial assistance to help us prepare our athletes.

    Grapevine: Will athletes like Joshua Cheptegei, Jacob Kiplimo, Halimah Nakayi, Peruth Chemutai, who competed in World Athletics Championship in Oregon also compete in commonwealth games? And will it not affect them?

    Rukare: Are you a coach? Hahaha [he laughs], they will definitely participate and it will not affect them because they are sportsmen and women. So, they are aware of the tight sports schedules sometimes.

    Grapevine: Have you prepared any incentives like prizes for those who will win medal?

    Rukare: We are still discussing that, but the prize money from President Museveni is there. Gold medal winners get Shs.5 million, silver medal winners get Shs.3 million and bronze medal winners get Shs.2 million.

    Grapevine: Why were you given few athlete slots [18 athletes] yet Uganda’s hope is in athletics?

    Rukare: We were given only 41 slots which were supposed to be shared with other federations.

    Grapevine: What challenges do athletes face when they go to such competitions?

    Rukare: The issue of food. Sometimes they are not used to the food in some of these countries.

    Grapevine: So, are you going with your own cook this time around?

    Rukare: Yes, we hope to go with our own cook.

    Grapevine: Let us talk about the issue of athletes who escape during international games, how do you plan to handle it this time around?

    Rukare: (Jokingly says) I think if it is possible, we need to hire the services of Maama Fiina to come to our rescue and tell us those who are going to escape since she is a traditional doctor who can see things before they happen.

     

    By Juma Ali

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    It Will Be A Tight Race This Year – Dr. Nsereko Reveals Who Will Win Rally Championship This Year and Why Female Drivers Are Not Part Of This Year’s Challenge…

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    Dr. Godfrey Nsereko

    Uganda rally driver, Dr. Godfrey Nsereko has told theGrapevine that the national rally championship race will be tight this year.

    In an interview with this website, Nsereko also disclosed why female rally drivers have not been part of the race this time around.

    Below is his conversation with theGrapevine;

    Grapevine: How competitive is the race for NRC title this year?

    Nsereko : The title is still competitive because the gap between the leader, Ponsiano Lwakataka and his competitors is small with only three races remind.

    Grapevine: Who do you think will win the NRC title?

    Nsereko: Ponsiano Lwakataka because he is leading and has led most of the races. I can see him performing well in the remaining three races.

    Grapevine: You are also a rally driver, what has hindered you from winning the NRC title?

    Nsereko: I’m still driving a 2 wheel drive car which is not powerful like those of Jas Mangat, Arthur Blick, Duncan Mubiru and others.

    Grapevine: What are the challenges you are facing in this sport?

    Nsereko: Most challenges are financial because I don’t have sponsors to support me.

    Grapevine: Why do you think, female rally drivers don’t drive now days?

    Nsereko: I will still state that the problem is financial. Apart from Suzan Muwonge who can manage herself, Rose Lwakataka has financial problem and Leila Mayanja is a federation secretary and is not allowed to take part.

    Grapevine: What challenges still hinder this sport from growing?

    Nsereko: When a sport lacks enough funds to push it and help the sportsmen and women in that sport, it will always struggle. Secondly, the money which is coming from the government is still small yet a lot of money is needed to organise rally events.

    Grapevine: There was a conflict recently because rally drivers and bikers, how far with this beef?

    Nsereko: Talks are still ongoing; I believe very soon they will reach an understanding.

    Grapevine: What was the cause of that conflict?

    Nsereko: It was a Fight for power. Each group was fighting to lead.

    Grapevine: By the way, why did you decide to join motor sport?

    Nsereko: At first, I was a footballer, but later, I realized that my future was in motor sport.

    Grapevine: Which rally drivers, do you fear most?

    Nsereko: Ponsiano Lwakataka and Jas Mangat because of their tactics and driving skills.

     

    By Juma Ali

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