Guma keen to emulate Masaba
Posted Thursday, March 21 2013 at 02:00
Bobby insists it’s not the end for faithful servant Simeon Masaba, who has not been considered for this weekend’s World Cup assignment in Liberia.
Dennis Guma’s favourite Uganda Cranes memories are of a selfless Simeon Masaba patrolling the right wing since the late Paul Hasule handed him his debut against Rwanda in 2003.
Since then, Masaba has gone on to become one of the more accomplished local-based players whose discipline on and off the pitch is unrivalled. Guma is one of those wowed. The Victoria University defender might not have read a letter Barcelona captain Carles Puyol wrote to Paulo Maldini when the AC Milan and Italy legend retired after 25 years at one club.
“I can never recall a bad word in an interview or press conference, or a huge foul,” wrote Puyol to his idol. “You are a clear example, to demonstrate, that it’s not necessary to be violent to be a good defender. You have dignified the work of footballers that don’t score goals.”
Masaba may not be a one-club man having played for Police and SC Villa before joining URA. He may not command the assuredness and class of the Italian, and he has not retired yet. But into his 30s, he does exude Maldini’s discipline, commitment to the game, and professionalism.
That is what Guma, who has got his chance at the expense of his left-out hero for the Liberia World Cup assignment in Monrovia this Sunday, wants to emulate. “I look up to Masaba,” Guma, in his early 20s, told Daily Monitor at Namboole as the team fine-tuned before flying to Monrovia tomorrow morning.
“He has been a model footballer. I look up to him because I also want to play like him, to be like him. “He has been around for so long and has represented the country very well. Every young defender would want to be like Masaba.” But what a task! “I don’t feel any pressure,” assured Guma, “I believe in myself and I know anything can happen in football. I have to repay the coach’s faith in me.”
Indeed Bobby Williamson has no doubt over the player who started out at Kampala Kids League (KKL) before breaking into SC Villa and then Victoria.“Guma’s got good stamina, good enthusiasm, he deserves his chance now,” said Bobby, “But Masaba has been fantastic for us only that he has not been playing for his club recently. He will be considered for future games in June.”