Sserunkuma, Matovu stake claim for wings
Cranes coach Bobby Williamson reckons improved wing play will be crucial as his troops take on Burundi in the Championship of African Nations (CHAN) return leg at Namboole on Saturday.
Cranes coach Bobby Williamson reckons improved wing play will be crucial as his troops take on Burundi in the Championship of African Nations (CHAN) return leg at Namboole on Saturday. And the return from injury of Simon Sserunkuma couldn’t have been timelier.
The SC Villa right winger, who last played for the national team during the Cecafa championship in Kenya last December, has been on the sidelines with a hamstring injury. His versatility on the wing could, however, see him break into Williamson’s starting line-up on Saturday even after resuming training only six days ago.
“My priority now is on players who can pass the ball well and add more mobility to this team,” Williamson said after taking the team through yesterday’s morning training session at Namboole. “I think Simon would pose more questions to the opposition.”
Cranes scored first through Henry Kisekka in the first leg away in Bujumbura but struggled to hurt their hosts in the later stages of the game. “I thought Henry (Kisekka) got into positions where he would head in the ball but the crosses weren’t forthcoming. It’s imperative that we take advantage of such situations in the area,” Williamson noted. With left winger Sula Matovu also faring well in training, Williamson is optimistic Cranes can get the necessary result to propel them to the next round of the tournament reserved for only locally-based players.
“We are putting more emphasis on set pieces. That’s something we are working on every evening since we have two training sessions a day,” the Scot stressed. All that the Cranes need is a goalless draw or any win to secure a date against Kenya. “When you look at this group, there is a mixture of energetic and youthful players with character. So there is a big chance of them featuring at the senior level,” the coach added.
Shs8m for Ssimbwa
The Burundians arrive either today evening or tomorrow morning and have been booked into Sojovalo Hotel along Rubaga Road, according to Fufa publicist Rogers Mulindwa. He said they were working together with Cranes sponsors MTN to have a fully-packed stadium on Saturday. Eritrean officials Eoyub Amanuel, Yohnnes Graza and Kiros Mehari will handle the CHAN qualifier.
Ugandan referees will also be on duty in the Caf Confederations Cup Champions League respectively. Muhammad Ssegonga will be the centre referee in Lusaka as Zesco United take on Nigeria’s Warri Wolves. He will be assisted by Hussein Bugembe and Samuel Kayondo. Ali Kalyango together with Ngobi Mufta and Kiti Yahya will be in charge when Tanzania’s Simba SC host Zimbabwe’s Lengthens FC.
Elsewhere, Cranes assistant coach Sam Ssimbwa has penned a one-year renewable contract with Kenya Premier League (KPL) champions Sofapaka, a team funded by Bamburi Cement. The Ugandan coach will earn Shs8m a month. KCC technical head Tom Lwanga revealed that former player Baker Mbowa and Molly Byekwaso will replace Ssimbwa as caretakers until the end of the season.