By David Lumu
In the wake of The Cranes' betraying exit from the African
Championship of Nations at the hands of Tanzania last weekend,
several theories have been advanced to explain the dour
Wrong tactics, injuries and burnout have been blamed.
But for all the disappointments of last Saturday, the focus
for Uganda switches to the more important Nations/World
Cup qualifiers that start on May 31 when The Cranes date
Niger at Namboole.
coach Csaba Laszlo
This will be a different Cranes team and only a handful
of the players involved in last weekend's fixture will make
it to the final team that is dominated by professionals
from the north of Iceland to the South of Bloemfontein.
Below is a trailblazer of the pros' on-the-pitch performance
for their clubs:
Dennis Onyango (South Africa): He is The Cranes number
one custodian and the only professional to win silverware
of any kind after his Super Sport United clinched the South
African Premier League last weekend. However, Onyango takes
little credit for his team's heroics after sitting out for
most of the season in favour of veteran Andre Arendse as
a result of his erratic performances in the first round.
He kept goal only seven times before getting dropped for
Posnet Omony (South Africa): Despite not featuring between
the posts for The Cranes in almost three years, Omony has
maintained the trust at Bloemfontein Celtic, alternating
with Shu-Aib Walters in goal. The team however finished
sixth from bottom having conceded 35 goals in 30 games courtesy
of a few Omony howlers.
Nestory Kizito (Serbia): Records show he's been a regular
in his third spell at Serbian outfit FK Vojvodina. The team
has already secured third position with one league game
left at the weekend. With him in defence, FK Vojvodina has
conceded 31 goals in 32 games, the fifth best in the league.
Andy Mwesigwa (Iceland): With only four rounds played in
the Iceland Second Division, Mwesigwa's IBV FC currently
lies seventh in the 10-team league.
Timothy Batabaire (South Africa): He was the club's player
of the year last season when they finished eighth but has
struggled this time round in the heart of defence.
Ibrahim Sekagya (Austria): The national skipper has been
ever-present for his Austrian Bundesliga team Red Bull Salzburg
as a central defender, netting three times in the process
as his club finished runner-up. He netted his last goal
against Scr Altach in a 4-0 win back in February.
However, the most striking statistic is his team's basket-tight
rearguard that conceded 42 goals in 36 games, including
the 0-7 drubbing by Austria Vienna.
Noah Kasule (Armenia): After five games, his FC Banants
team lies fifth in a lot of eight Armenian clubs.
Assani Bajope & Patrick Ochan (Ethiopia): Little is
known about this St. George pair.
Augustine Nsumba (Iceland): Despite all the perception he's
playing professional football in the same team with Mwesigwa,
the sleek diminutive midfielder is not listed on the official
IBV FC club website.
Abubaker Tabula (Sweden): The versatile player is used as
a left sided defender by GIF Sundsvall. His team, second
from bottom, is relegation-bound and has the worst defence.
Godfrey Massa (South Africa): Perhaps the biggest flop
of all. Having been prized by Jomo Cosmos at the start of
season, Massa has struggled to fit in the team. His tally
of one goal the whole season is all the more worrying for
Csaba. The latest club official website indicates he was
Eugene Sseppuyya (Serbia): Having joined Nestory Kizito
at FK Vojvodina on a free transfer from Armenian FC Banants
at the start of season, the burly forward has been a bit-part
player. And until his brace against FK Banat in a meaningless
match last weekend, Sseppuyya hadn't scored the whole season.
Mike Serumaga (Sweden): The Swedish-based player at Helsingborg
has yet to find the net after 11 games in the league that
is now in recess till July. His team is currently fifth
in the 16-team Swedish Allsvenskan. On the contrary, Razak
Omotoyossi from Benin has overshadowed him with 5 goals
so far. Uganda will play Benin on June 7.
David Obua (South Africa): Widely touted as The Cranes
creative brain, the lanky forward has endured hard times
on Kaizer Chiefs sidelines having fallen out with Turkish
coach Muhsin Ertugral. In all, Obua had 16 appearances (only
eight starts), scoring only two goals the entire season.