By Allan Damba
Former Uganda Cranes goalkeeper Dennis Masinde Onyangoon Tuesday visited the Cranes camp in Pretoria where the side is up in gears ahead of their friendly with the Bafana Bafana.
The former skipper was allowed to meet the group for valuable advice and encouragement by the FUFA officials that made the trip.
“Of course as a Ugandan and supporter, it gives me the joy to come and say ‘hello’ to the boys. They are part of the family because I have been in the national team for a very long time till my retirement,” Onyango said.
“It was just a few chats with the guys from FUFA and they allowed me to come to say hello to the boys and offer words of encouragement and let them know that everything is possible,” added the overjoyed 36-year-old.
The Mamelodi Sundowns custodian also expressed confidence in the rebuilding agenda and backed the new faces at the national team to excel.
“There are several young players in the group and if they (FUFA) are building for the future, it is the right time to give them a chance.”
“It is very important to start well on Thursday as they build for the upcoming World cup qualifiers. So, it gives me the joy to come and talk to them as they prepare to face South Africa.”
Onyango also had a chat with the goalkeepers on the team, Charles Lukwago, Mathias Kigonya and Ismael Watenga; “Speaking to them was nice as I reminded them that Uganda needed clean sheets to qualify for the AFCON (2017 and 2019).”
“I advised them to do their best: not to do what Dennis did but to do what they are supposed to do. They do not have to impress anyone, they should just do their best because they have the potential,” Onyango continued.
Uganda Cranes 23-man squad
Goalkeepers: Ismail Watenga, Charles Lukwago, Mathias Kigonya
Defenders: Hassan Muhamood, Paul Willa, Patrick Paul Mbowa, Halid Lwalilwa, Aziz Kayondo, Enock Walusimbi, Mustafa Kizza, Murushid Juuko
Midfielders: Bobosi Byaruhanga, Shafik Kagimu, Moses Waiswa, Taddeo Lwanga, Allan Okello, Abdu Lumala, Ibrahim Orit, Steven Sserwadda, Isma Mugulusi
Strikers: Emmanuel Okwi(Captain), Derrick Kakooza, Steven Mukwaala