FootballNational TeamsUganda Cranes

Onyango On McKinstry, Salah and World Cup Dream

Uganda Cranes captain Denis Masinde Onyango has tipped the new coach Jonathan Mckinstry to deliver.

Onyango is expected to reprise his captaincy role when Uganda Cranes face Ethiopia on October 13 in Bahrdar Town in what will be Mckinstry’s first game in charge since his three year appointment to replace Sebastien Desabre.

The Northern Irishman’s appointment was received with mixed emotions as some stressed that he was too young and hence will not succeed.

“I am sure that if he (Mckinstry) gets the support that Desabre got, he will go go further,” said Onyango while appearing on NBS the score sports show on Sunday night.

“There are many good players at the moment and the confidence is high.”

“About the World Cup, its a possible target, we have to believe but this must be a combined effort amongst the Government, Federation (FUFA), Media, fans and other stakeholders. These things are planned, its a hand to hand situation.”

Denis Onyango training for Uganda at Namboole. Courtesy photo

When asked by the show’s host Web Daniel Sebakijje about the chances of the local based players to make it to the National team, Onyango narrated:

“Everyone has a chance, the locals have the hunger and they showed their worth in the 2019 AFCON in Egypt and that is why they have all been bought. However, its not all about giving players chances, you must look at the reality and that is getting results for the team.

“There is no guaranteed place for anyone on the national team. Players must be taken depending on their ability, because at the end of the day it will not be the individual success that will matter, it will be the result of the Uganda Cranes that will count.”

In the 2019 AFCON against Egypt, Onyango conceded twice including a well curled free-kick by Mohamed Salah as the Pharaohs won 2-0.

Speaking about Salah’s goal, the Mamelodi Sundowns shot stopper commented:

“It’s a challenging position to be for any goalkeeper because you don’t see the ball coming and those guys – Salah and Sadio Mane – need just one chance to beat you. It was a good free-kick but it would have been a different story of the wall jumped.”

Onyango who has played under coach Abas Mohammed, Laszlo Csaba, Bobby Williamson, Moses Basena and Sebastien Desabre noted that he has reached where he is because of hard work and determination.

He attributed recent Cranes’ success to togetherness and the brotherly love amongst themselves.

When asked to have a word or two about the infamous strike in Egypt, he hesitated before revealing that there was a misunderstanding between the players and the Federation.

“We never lost because of a strike. Teams like Egypt never staged a strike, but got knocked out out early very early.

“Sometimes you have to strike so that people stop taking you for granted. But I think it was a misunderstanding between the players and the Federation. Both parties had their own terms. Either one of us was wrong.”

Brian Kawalya

Brian Kawalya

Chief Sports Writer
Brian Kawalya is an Award winning Journalist, Director and Chief Sports Writer of The-SportsNation, covering top events and breaking some of the biggest stories.
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