Cranes star Lumala sets sights on Europe

Tuesday June 9 2020

Seeking new frontiers. Lumala tweeted this

Seeking new frontiers. Lumala tweeted this picture on March 12 after his side Pyramid’s league win. He has had limited time on the pitch in Egypt. PHOTO | COURTESY 

By George Katongole

Uganda Cranes winger Abdu Lumala made would switch back to Europe at the earliest opportunity, Daily Monitor can reveal.

The player moved to Egyptian moneybags Pyramids barely a year ago but now sees his future
in Europe where he enjoyed success with Superettan sides Syrianska and IFK Värnamo during his
fi ve-year stay in Sweden.

“It’s been very difficult for me to adopt because of their system of play. It’s not a game for me and hopefully very soon I will be moving back to Europe. That’s for sure,” Lumala said in a social media interaction where he was appearing as a guest on a WhatsApp forum.

The speedy winger signed for the ambitious Egyptians in July 2019 from Swedish side Kalmar FF after a loan spell at Syrianska, joining former Uganda Cranes head coach Sebastien Desabre, who had been unveiled two weeks earlier But on December 19, 2019, Desabre was sacked by the Egyptians following what they called a poor run of results in the League.

The 43-year-old had managed Pyramids in 19 games, winning 12, drawing four and losing three, including the Egypt Cup fi nal against Zamalek.

Despite their poor domestic form, Pyramids have had a good run in their first ever Caf Confederation Cup where they qualifi ed for the semi-finals. After Desabre’s dismissal, Lumala has had limited playing time under Croatian manager Ante Cacic. The 22-yearold vows to keep fighting for his place though.

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“It’s not Desabre who brought me here,” Lumala said. “Of course, he wanted me but the club wanted me more. I am still in the coach’s plans. It’s only football. You play good football, people will always want you in their team.”

‘I want to play more’
Talking of being on the bench most of the time under Cacic. Lumala said: “No ambitious player in the world would want to be on the bench. It is a character. I want to always be playing.”

Top teams, including Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal and English Premier League side Everton, were rumoured to have been sniffi ng around for the winger after an electric performance for the Cranes in Egypt.

“There were many links to many teams but this was the best deal for me because I was with my coach,” said the player, who is managed by Fahd Adamson Mansoor of Binary Group.

The same agency represents KCCA left back Mustafa Kizza. They have strong connections with Swiss teams where three other clients play.

Lumala’s introduction to the Ugandan football came during the 2019 Afcon final and has gone ahead to feature in eight games including all four in Egypt.

Lumala is among the kids who shone at then world famous academy, Kampala Kids League (KKL).

Although he started with the academy, he has never featured for any senior side in Uganda.
He is desirous of featuring for Vipers, a team he says is focused on success.

Lumala hinted on struggles by Ugandan players in Europe saying it is unfair equating West Africans’ success with Ugandans.

“Most of those West African players you see playing in Europe were either born or have lived there,” he said.

“They have been in that system for a long time. You cannot compare someone who has been in that system for long. It is not easy. It is a process and Ugandans must be patient.”

gkatongole@ug.nationmedia.com

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