KAMPALA. The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualification starts October 7, exactly two years since Cranes long serving midfielder Tony Mawejje rolled on that Ugandan shirt in action.
Then, three Nations Cup and World Cup qualifying matches since Micho Sredojevic took charge of his last, and as many Moses Basena was taking care of in the interim, Uganda drew goalless with Ghana at Namboole before ending the Russian 2018 road 1-1 away to Congo Brazzaville.
Mawejje - possibly into his final bend of his top level football career having debuted in 2004, although he will be the first to dismiss he is nearing the end - went into oblivion after that stalemate with Ghana, not being summoned by coach Sebastien Desabre until the Frechman left for Pyramids FC in Egypt early this month.
In between the former KCC, URA, Police and IBV Vestmannaeyjar player has played 52 matches for Albanian club Tirana, in which time he believes he did enough to at least turn one of Desabre’s eyes regarding Afcon 2019. But it’s until Mawejje penned a new two-year deal with Kuwait side Al Arabi SC that the midfielder’s noise levels went a notch up, celebrating his move with friends and associates on social media.
He opened up to this newspaper about the Afcon missed opportunity, how he believes he is still good value for Uganda, and how this is not his final bite at the cherry.
“I can’t say its my final opportunity because you never know what tomorrow brings,” he said. “Now I choose to concentrate on what God has brought me and wait for what tomorrow holds.
Best deal of his career
“God knows better and I could honestly say I still see myself for many years playing professional football.” There is been talk that Mawejje signed his best deal in his career yet, financially.
“(Laughs) All I can say is it’s really a good deal for me and one of the best in my career,” he said.
Born in a country that ended four decades absence from the Nations Cup finals just the other day, and having tasted a piece of being there immediately, it was always going to be tough for Mawejje to watch his colleagues play in Egypt from his living room. “I’m a player with passion and enthusiasm,” he narrated, “So I was disappointed at missing but I had nothing to do.
“To be honest I would love to play for the Cranes again but I feel it’s time to let the youthful players take over now. Only that the national team sends off long serving players with no respect for their effort,” said Tony Mawejje.