Kampala. In May 2015, Abdallah Mubiru was the head coach of the Kibuli SS team that lost to eventual winners St Mary’s SS Kitende in the quarterfinals in Hoima.
Fast forward four years later and the 44-year-old former journalist is set to walk out in front of Uganda Cranes’ fans as the head coach.
Forty seven years since Burkhard Pape was replaced by David Otti as Uganda coach in 1973, there have been 22 coaches 14 of them Ugandan yet since the turn of the century, only Paul Hasule, Leo Adra, Mike Mutebi and Moses Basena represent the local talent. All their years in management combined are just four years of the 19.
It is not a new trend but the trust among local coaches has been at its lowest since Mike Mutebi quit in 2004. Since then, Mohammed Abbas, Laszlo Csaba, Bobby Williamson, Milutin Sredojevic and Sébastien Desabre have been handed the trust of the national team to varying degrees of success.
About two weeks ago, football organising body, Fufa, appointed Abdallah Mubiru as the interim coach following the departure of Desabre.
But the audition could determine the future for Ugandan coaches, according to Mubiru who will lead the team against Somalia for the Chan elimination game next week.
“We must set the precedent for the future of local coaches,” Mubiru said in an interview yesterday.
“Most of the current Cranes fans and players have not seen a local coach. But I tell you foreigners don’t come from the moon. We undergo similar training and the added advantage is that we have local knowledge. Ideas are not defined by one’s colour. That mentality should phase away and people start looking at individual abilities,” he said.
Cause of concern
Mubiru is dismayed to see the appointment of foreign coaches with relatively little success.
“I think we should be concerned because how come there are not foreigners in our clubs. Foreign coaches who come here must have done something exceptional. But if not, the support accorded to foreign coaches can be extended to us and we can ably deliver,” Mubiru noted.
The Uganda Cranes job is up for grabs but there are a limited number of Ugandan coaches in contention to succeed Desabre.
Chan 2019: Cranes schedule
First leg: July 27, 2019
Somalia vs Uganda (to be played in
Return leg: August 3, 2019
Uganda vs Somalia, Lugogo 4pm