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Squad players that did not play for The Cranes (Part II)

1993 SC Villa squad; the majority of these players featured for Cranes. Standing back row (Left to Right): Paul Hasule, Ivan Kawooya, Adam Semugabi, Enock Kyembe, Mathias Kaweesa and Mike Mukasa. Front row (L-R): Sula Kato, Paul Mukatabala, Robert Mukiibi, Robert Semakula and Paul Nkata

1993 SC Villa squad; the majority of these players featured for Cranes. Standing back row (Left to Right): Paul Hasule, Ivan Kawooya, Adam Semugabi, Enock Kyembe, Mathias Kaweesa and Mike Mukasa. Front row (L-R): Sula Kato, Paul Mukatabala, Robert Mukiibi, Robert Semakula and Paul Nkata

Last week, I profiled top Ugandan players who never featured for The Cranes. We now bring you the last batch of high-profile players who missed the chance to be capped. Here we go!

CHRISTOPHER DDUNGU

He was a key striker for KCCA FC and later for Nile FC. The stoutly-built striker did not only win major titles with both clubs, but he also emerged as the 1975 league top-scorer. Despite making the Uganda Cranes squad for the 1974 Cecafa Cup in Tanzania, he did not get a chance to feature for the team.

GODFREY NYOLA

He was on top of his game when Express signed him from Jinja-based Nytil FC in 1986. However, Uganda Cranes coaches always overlooked him and never gave him a chance to feature for the team.

In 1988, Cranes coach Robert Kiberu, who also happened to be the Express coach, summoned the no-nonsense defender to prepare for the 1988 Cecafa Cup. However, he dropped him just a few days before the team left for Lilongwe, Malawi.

EDWARD NASSAMBA

It’s hard to believe that Nassamba never featured in The Cranes. The giant custodian played an integral role for the mighty SC Villa, which won several major titles in the mid-eighties. However, Cranes coaches preferred John Tebusweke and Paul Ssali.

And the worst scenario happened in 1988, during the Cecafa Cup in Malawi, when coach Robert Kiberu named young Sadiq Wassa ahead of Nassamba.

BADRU KAKEMBO

The former Express and SC Villa skipper was the complete player. His mastery in chest ball control was a joy to watch. He was part of the 1971 Uganda Cranes team which travelled for an international friendly against Malawi in Zomba.

The defensive midfielder was later nicknamed Zomba because it was the only foreign city he visited with The Cranes.

JOHN MATOVU

He was Lint FC’s matchmaker and top goal scorer. However, ‘China’ (as he was fondly known after making the China trip with Uganda’s second string side, the Lions, in 1975), never featured for the senior team as the coach preferred Mike Kiganda, Moses Nsereko or Abbey Nasur.

SAM OKIROR

His combination with Jimmy Muguwa, Fred Musisi and Fred Serwadda made Uganda Commercial Bank (UCB) FC unplayable at times. In fact, this combination was the reason why UCB won the 1979 league title.

Okiror was summoned to the Uganda Cranes in 1979 and 1981 but, on both occasions, he never played a competitive game with the team.

FRED LUKWAGO

Giringi, as he was known in football circles, was unlucky for playing top football in an era that had Joseph Masajjage, George Mukasa and Patrick Natan. The soft-spoken custodian was ever present as Express won the 1974 and 1975 league titles, but he did not feature for The Cranes.

SAM TAMALE

The hard tackler completed Express FC’s water-tight defence that also had Wilson Nsobya, Fred Sekasi and Ashe Mukasa. However, apart from appearing for the historical Uganda national youth team of the early 1970s, Tamale, also known as Kapeera, never played for the Uganda Cranes.

RASHID BWIRE

The goalie was the standout player in 1976 when Gangama FC won the Uganda Cup title after edging Coffee FC in the shootout. Bwire, who also featured in several outfield positions, was always a reserve player whenever he was summoned for The Cranes.

JOSEPH SEKITTO

He was a silent sniper who scored goals for fun in the 1980s. The KCCA FC striker’s combination with Frank Kyazze earned KCCA all the league and Uganda Cup titles the club won from 1983 to 1987. Sekitto was thrice summoned for Cranes duty, yet still he never featured.

PATRICK LWANGA

The Nile FC player was a unique custodian whose reflexes and daring dives scared opponents. With his towering frame, he guided Nile to the 1980 league title. However, he always remained a squadsman whenever he was summoned for Cranes duty.

TADEO AZABO

He was that kind of player who was consistent in his game at Nile FC. The tough-tackler impressed in Nile FC’s midfield, which also had Matthew Lucha and Yosa Yeka, but his displays never attracted the Uganda Cranes tacticians. He played top-level football from 1980 to 1984.

ZAIDI TEBESIGWA

It is hard to forget the workaholic SC Villa midfielder in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In fact, Tebesigwa was one of the Jogoos top signings in the 1980s. However, his failure to earn a national team cap was due to the presence of Paul Nkata, Twaha Kivumbi and George Nsimbe.

bzziwa@observer.ug

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