With Sebastien Desabre out of the picture, we have all the rights to confirm that the Uganda Cranes coach job is vacant. It’s up for grabs.
The race on who will fill the void will be a big debate for the next days, until FUFA appoints one.
The possibility of naming a local coach is very slim, but at least the argument on whether Uganda Cranes is ready to have a Ugandan as a coach still carries some water. Its still and will remain valid.
It should be noted that the last five head coaches of the Uganda Cranes have all been foreigners – Mohammed Abas (Egypt), Laszlo Csaba (Hungary), Bobby Williamson (Scotland), Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic (Serbia) and Desabre (France).
If the time has come for Uganda Cranes to have a local coach, the five listed below, lead the race in no particular order.
He is one man who believes that there is a thin line between local and foreign coaches, and he has achieved stats to back up his argument.
He was in charge of the National team, on interim basis from July 31st, 2017 when Micho resigned till December 28 that year.
In that period, he was the coach in CHAN and some World Cup Qualifiers, including a big 1-0 win over Egypt.
He had a spell at SC Villa and UPDF FC where things didn’t go as expected, but the National team is always a different affair.
Together with Fred Kajoba, Basena was funded by FUFA to go in USA for a special coaching development program, and that shows how the football governing body has trust in him. Then, FUFA believed that Basena was good for the future, and the future might be now.
My favourite on this list for obvious reasons. The feel good factor.
His credentials may some how be inferior to most of the local coaches, but if given the job, none may command respect from the players or own the dressing room the way Obua can.
Still young and energetic, with fresh and wide experience thanks to his playing career in Europe with Scotland’s Hearts of Midlothian where he played from 2008 and 2012, not to mention South Africa.
From a renown Sports family, highlighted by his dad Dennis Obua (former FUFA president, RIP). Though this may not be part of the CV, but a rich football background also counts.
His playing career speaks volumes – a Cranes legend without doubt – Scored his first national team goal against Ghana in 2004 in Nakivubo, bagged an hat-trick in AFCON qualifiers against Niger in 2007, among others.
However, his disciplinary issues may let him down for this role, but he was a player then, and much might have changed.
He is an assistant coach at Maroons FC and head at Lango Province in FUFA Drum tournament. He is currently in South Africa as a TV pundit with Supersport for AFCON.
He was the assistant to Desabre, and he becomes the coach of the Uganda Cranes by default (interim), until FUFA communicates otherwise.
Many have mixed emotions on Matia’s understanding of the game, but if Desabre was special, Matia might have copied some notes.
Mathius, as previously called by Desabre, is a CAF A license holder who had stints with the National U20 team (the Hippos) and U17 teams in various engagements.
He has has coaching studies in Sweden and Germany. He has managed some of the countries biggest clubs like KCCA FC and Express FC.
Mike Hillary Mutebi
Probably the best manager in the country, by far. He is one of the few coaches that can explain his philosophy. Another former player.
Mutebi has brought success at KCCA FC thanks to the organisation and backing he receives from the City council. He has drunk so much from the cup of the beautiful game. He has so much trust in young and learnt players.
He was a coach of the National team before, in 2004, but he was 34 then. I bet he would fancy a second chance because much has changed. He is one man you can bank on to bring success to the Nation, if given the same backing as the foreign coaches have received.
Mutebi has gained much confidence and experience with African football, thanks to all the CAF Champions league and Confederation cup exposure with the Lugogo based team.
If Desabre, before his resignation was given a chance to choose a local successor, he would go for coach Mike.
Since last season, many wanted to watch Police FC games because of one man. He is coach Abdullah Mubiru. Uganda’s Johan Cruyff.
He preaches a free flowing game. What about Uganda Cranes playing an attacking and passing game without fear? a good joy to watch if given the role.
Just this year, he was given the role to take Uganda Cranes in the COSAFA Cup, though results failed to go his way but that trust from the Federation is a major hint of what is to come.
He has collected various knowledge especially with local players after caoching Proline FC, KCCA FC, Vipers and Police FC.
Honourable Mentions – Sam Ssimbwa.