May 22, 2008
Cranes form-guide

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 1-1 draw.

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.

Cranes 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 the remainder.

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 released.

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.