Uganda Cranes provisional squad to face South Africa in an international friendly was announced on Wednesday May 26, and perhaps the most notable absentee was URA FC marksman Steven Dese Mukwala.
It’s Dejavu all over again for last season’s UPL top scorer.
The pacey forward was left out of the final CHAN squad by then coach Jonathan Mcknistry, and despite his stellar performances in front of goal in the past two years, he has been left on the periphery of the senior national on various occasions.
Indeed, the former Vipers SC striker is among the high scoring forwards in the UPL this season, yet, he was again shunned by Abdullah Mubiru, despite the fact the Stand-in Cranes boss named an extended 34-man squad.
Mukwala missing out on a traditional 23-man squad would be understandable, but to miss out on a 34-man long list is almost unbelievable.
He has netted a commendable 14 league goals this season, and for all intents and purposes, the blind eyed he has been casted to leaves him in despondent mood.
Goals define strikers, and Mukwala has had them in plenty this season.
If you’re not getting in a 34-man Cranes squad at this point where you seem to be at the prime of your career, the reality is, your national team career is at seams.
Uganda has a great crop of strikers at the moment. And it’s safe to say that the national team coach is spoilt for choice.
Express FC net buster Eric Kambale, Hippos duo of Derrick Kakooza and Richard Bassagwa, were all picked ahead of Mukwala on this occasion.
What Mukwala has to do to be considered for national team selection is for any one to guess.
For it’s worth, it is not only Mukwala who will feel aggrieved by the decision to be excluded from the team.
In a season that has witnessed extreme competition in the Uganda Premier League, there are some players who clearly believed they would somehow make the team, at least the provisional one.
Express duo of Mathais Muwanga and Godfrey Lwesibawa have had stellar seasons so far and should have anticipated their names to be on the squad list.
Muwanga is arguably the best keeper to date, in the league, having managed a league high shut outs.
For Lwesibawa, he has been part of a four-man offence that has terrorized defences in the league, scoring a career high 10-goals as per the summoning of the team.
Bright Stars’ Samuel Ssekamate will also wonder what he has to do so as to make the squad, let alone one for a friendly match.
The striker was voted the league’s player of the month of April and he has notched 12 goals so far.
The others that come to mind include Onduparaka FC’s Kabon Living, the URA FC duo of Ashraf Mandela and Cromwel Rwothomio, Vipers’ Paul Mucurezi and Disan Galiwango and Police striking pair of Ben Ocen and Brian Mululi.