Uganda Cranes ‘forgotten’ midfielder Hassan Wasswa Mawanda says he is interested in coaching and his passion about the next phase is the Uganda Premier League (UPL).
“I have thought about this for a long time and had conversations about coaching, but the timing was not right.
I now believe I am ready to coach,” Wasswa told Daily Monitor. The 32-year-old is unattached after leaving Saudi Arabia club Jeddah. And his decision comes in the aftermath of Cranes coach Johnny McKinstry overlooking him for the double-header against South Sudan in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers scheduled for November 12 and 16. Capped 75 times since making his debut for the national team in 2006 during a 1-1 draw against Rwanda, Wasswa is a part-time youth coach with a team of refugees in Nsambya - a Kampala surburb.
His knowledge of the game is undoubted. Wasswa, who started his career at KCCA (then KCC), has played for clubs in Ethiopia, Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt and Saudi Arabia while winning the league with KCCA in 2013 and 14 and St George (Ethiopia) in 2008. He believes that too often young players are not able to get better because of inadequate knowledge on the professional game. “A lot of young players are inches away from reaching their true potential. I would like to join a topflight team where I can help coach, mentor and guide players to do the hard work, show focus and determination needed to become a successful professional player.”
Wasswa has partnered with the likes of Johnson Bagoole, Noah Babadi Kasule, Patrick Ochan, Mike Sserumaga, Godfrey Kizito and Khalid Aucho, among others at the heart of Uganda’s midfield before transitioning to central defence recently.
He acknowledges that former Cranes coaches Bobby Williamson, Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic and Sébastien Desabre had a positive impact helping him work hard to get better at all facets of his game.
Wasswa’s last appearance for the Cranes was during the 1-0 win over Ethiopia in a friendly last October. He also hopes he can get another dance with the Cranes to help young players develop.
Professional players have their coaching journey normally fast-tracked starting at the Caf C certificate level getting to the elite Caf-A level in less than five years. He thinks starting as an understudy at a topflight side can help him refine his skills on the touchline.
“I have knowledge to share and I am ready to help players reach their full potential,” Wasswa concludes.
HASSAN WASSWA MAWANDA
Date of birth: February 14, 1988
Place of birth: Nsambya, Uganda
Height: 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Playing Position: Defensive Midfielder
Former Clubs: KCCA, Saint George, F.C. Cape Town, Karabükspor, Altay S.K, Erciyesspor, Dong Nai, SC Villa, Al-Shorta, Al-Nejmeh, El-Geish, Jeddah
Jersey No: 16
Current Team: Unattached
National Team: Since 2006.