July 5, 2022

Mawejje tribute: ‘He is the closest to Onyango’ – Mubiru

By Allan Damba
TOPSHOT - Uganda's midfielder Tony Mawejje (L) challenges Ghana's midfielder Mubarak Wakaso during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group D football match between Ghana and Uganda in Port-Gentil on January 17, 2017. / AFP / Justin TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Former Police FC head coach Abdallah Mubiru has likened former Cranes’ midfielder, Tonny Mawejje’s professionalism to the latter’s former teammate Dennis Onyango.

This, he said in the wake of Mawejje’s announcement that he will retire from football in Police’s last game of the 2021/22 season against Vipers SC on Saturday, at St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende.

Mubiru, who worked with the Cops’ skipper both in the early and evening days of his career, hailed him for his humility, leadership, and proficiency.

“I am privileged to have seen and at the same time coached Tonny (Mawejje) at the early stage of his career, plus coaching and working with him at his latter stage,” he said in an exclusive interview with Football256.

The tactician narrates how he fell for Mawejje’s ability at first sight, over two decades back.

“I saw Tonny in the 2002 Post-primary games in Lira when he was playing for Masaka SSS, I was coaching Kibuli SSS and immediately liked him.”

Tony Mawejje (C) celebrates his goal against Bright Stars | Police FC media

“In 2003 I was assistant coach to Mike Mutebi at KCC FC then when Tonny joined in and I was privileged to work with him when he was full of energy and enthusiasm.”

Mubiru believes Mawejje has kept the attributes that made him tick as a young boy aspiring for greatness, to the evening of his career.

“Tonny has not changed to date; so humble, very disciplined, very cooperative, and extremely hardworking,” revealed the gaffer.

“He is a man of his word, who will not do anything behind anybody‚Äôs back. To me, Tonny is next to Onyango (Dennis) – true professionals and gentlemen.”

Former Uganda Cranes’ skipper Denis Onyango against Ghana at the 2017 Africa Cup of in Gabon | Courtesy Image

Outside KCCA FC the Masaka-born has played for over ten clubs in his colorful career, including the likes of, URA FC, Police (two spells), IBV Vestmannaeyjar, Golden Arrows, Haugesund, Valur, FKF Tirana, Porttura, and Al-Arabi SC in Kuwait.

However, Mubiru asserts that Mawejje has maintained his vow of staying professional to the end of his career.

“He has had a successful career having managed to play at the top level all those years. We have seen so many promising talents fading in only a few seasons.”

Police FC captain Tony Mawejje dishes out orders to a teammate against Kyetume last season | Bata Images (John Batanudde)

“In 2004 while at KCC, coach Mike Mutebi was relating to players on and off form. He told the players that they are like inertia (Kitengejja), that just floats on water moving anyhow due to lack of strong roots,” Mubiru tells of a vow Mawejje made about 20 years back.

“So Tonny whispered to me that he was to stand firm for years, a goal he has achieved. I nicknamed him ‘Inertia’ to date.”

Mubiru further recalls the midfielder’s 2014 strike against Ghana in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers as his fondest memory of Mawejje.

“I will live to remember that goal he scored against Ghana in Kumasi.” It ended 1-1 in Kumasi as Andre Ayew leveled through the spot.

Dubbed “Midfield General,” Mawejje played 83 FIFA recognized matches for the Cranes till 2017, managing eight goals to his name.

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