The last time Cranes coach Johnny McKinstry summoned a squad for competitive action back in March, Derrick Nsibambi was struggling for playing time at Egyptian side Smouha.
The forward had only returned to Egypt in January after the club reportedly defaulted on the player’s wages.
He was consequently omitted from the Cranes squad summoned in preparation for the double header against South Sudan in March with McKinstry opting for English-born Uchechukwu Mubiru as well as Sweden based Alexis Bakka and Emma Okwi at fellow Egyptian side Al Ittihad.
Fahad Bayo who has since moved to Israel from Vipers was also ahead of Nsibambi in the pecking order having played at the start of the 2021 Afcon qualification campaign.
That however seems to have changed over the past two months although did not seem likely when Nsibambi and his Burkinabé teammate Mohammed Koffi contracted the virus after getting into contact with Zamalek SC players after a friendly in July.
Instead Nsibambi used all those experiences to force his way into the starting lineup when the Egyptian league returned in August.
After being moved to a right sided role behind lead striker Hossam Hassan after previously being played in a conservative midfield role, the former KCCA striker responded with a burst of three goals in four games at the end of August and start of September.
Nsibambi gave Smouha the lead in a 1-1 draw with El Geish, scoring in a 3-0 thumping of Tanta as well as the 3-3 stalemate with Aswan. “You just have to adjust to the new role that the coach gives you that is what I have done playing off the wing,” the soft-spoken player whose defensive work has also played a key factor in reclaiming a starting slot.
His performances have not been lost on McKinstry who revealed in an interview on the Fufa website about giving an opportunity to in-form players. “You look at players like Derrick Nsibambi in Egypt. It is very important that they are getting playing time week in week out,” McKinstry explained. Nsibambi will hope for better luck this evening too as his fifth placed side play struggling Wadi Degla this evening.
AFCON 2022 QUALIFYING
Match Day 3 and 4
(9th – 17th November 2020)
Match Day 5 and 6
(22nd – 30th March 2021)