Tony Mawejje still fondly remembers the important role George Ssimwogerere played in his football career.
Mawejje started his career at Masaka Local Council FC and played under Ssimwogerere who was a coach-player after the departure of head coach Sam Timbe at the end of 2002.
“Growing up as a young boy in Masaka, I was so passionate about football,” Mawejje told Football256 in an interview before adding.
“I wanted so much to play football but there were a lot of doubters given that I was still so young.”
“But here comes Ssimwogerere who was then starting to venture into coaching after his playing career and he gave me a chance.”
“Unlike all other people, he saw me and how passionate I was and he was like this young boy will manage and that is how I got a license to play for Masaka LC,” he added.
Mawejje has also now retired from active football after a career of 22 years and he will have two testimonial games for his farewell.
In both games, the current Uganda Cranes squad will play against the Uganda Cranes squad that played at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
Mawejje was part of the 2017 AFCON squad and he has chosen Ssimwogerere to be the coach while Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic will be in charge of the current Cranes team.
“I can never forget Ssimwogerere ever in my life and since then we have continued as good friends and in constant contact.”
“That is the reason why I have selected him to be the coach of my team during my last games.”
“He gave me the first opportunity and it is out of respect that he coaches me last,” Mawejje noted.
The first testimonial game will be played at the MTN Omondi Stadium, Lugogo on Wednesday, September 14 while another will be in Masaka on Friday, September 16.
Mawejje played for 12 clubs including Masaka LC, KCCA FC, Police FC, and URA FC in Uganda before he went professional in Iceland at ÍBV Vestmannaeyjar.
Golden Arrows, Haugesund, Valur, Þróttur, and Al-Arabi are the other clubs Mawejje played for overseas.
He started playing for the Uganda Cranes in 2004 as an 18-year-old and scored eight goals in 83 appearances.
Following his retirement last season while at Police, Mawejje intends to set up an Academy of midfielders – which was his position on the field of play.