To earn a national team callup for the very first time is a gesture often seen to be a figment of any player’s imagination and when it does happen, it becomes an unquantifiable feeling.
Mbarara City’s Jude Ssemugabi has been trying to make sense of this feeling since his name appeared to be part of the 30-man list of summoned players to take part in the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
The lanky forward is also among the few locally based strikers that the new Uganda Cranes head coach Milutin “Micho” Sredojovic trusts to amalgamate in a squad that is hugely dominated by international players.
Ssemugabi was unable to hide his delight at what he called a great milestone in his life as a player while approached by the media.
“I’m so grateful for this great opportunity that has been given to me to represent my country in the forthcoming qualifiers. I look forward to bringing the competition and standing to be counted,” he assured the press.
He would also spare time to hype praise and massive respect for Micho and his technical team and promised to repay the trust given to him in the call up.
Ssemugabi further thanked his former club coaches Livingstone Mbabazi and Sadik Ssempiji (with whom he was in the Masaza cup) for moulding and preparing him to reach these great heights.
He joined the Ankole Lions in 2018 from Buganda Ssaza club Singo following an impressive run that saw him emerge the eventual tournament topscorer.
His performances with the Ankole Lions under the stewardship of Mbabazi in the previous season set the pace for them in the league and have been the bedrock of their relegation survival.
Jude stood out as a reliable source of goals and rightfully established himself as the club top scorer. His general involvement in games was never passive and Micho will be looking to capitalize on his hardwork.
The Cranes who commenced training this Monday, 16th August at Kabira Country Club and will depart the country on Saturday this same week for international friendlies lined up in Jordan.
They will face the Syria National Team on 23rd and 26th August before finishing up with Ethiopia on August 27th 2021.
The Serbian coach is expected to use the friendlies to fine tune the team and as well as assess players before the first qualifiers game against East African counterparts Kenya in September.