The Uganda Cranes head Coach Jonathan McKinstry last week summoned 20-foreign based players for the double header AFCON qualifier against South Sudan.
Among them, are 3 new faces that many people have never seen before. However, according to the coach, the summoned players are not just a gamble as they have been tried and tested before at club level and will add in a new dimension to the team.
From the information we have gathered about the players from FUFA and online sources, indeed Cranes fans will have something new to watch out for. Although it is not the first time such players have been summed for national duty.
Not many of them have been success stories but a few like the electric winger Abdu Lumala and the solid Bevis Mugabi have turned out good for the current national team.
Here are the 3 new boys and what you may not know about them in the New-look Uganda Cranes team;
Onen was born on 17th February 2001 (18 years) and currently plays for Brentford B in England. He played in the Arsenal academy and also formerly played for Brighton and Hove U21 team.
His father is a Ugandan and the mother is from the United Kingdom. He grew up at Arsenal and played for their Academy until the age of 16.
The midfielder has already turned out 10 times so far for Brentford B this season and has netted twice. The youngster also spent some time on loan with Bromley towards the end of 2019 and is highly regarded by McKinstry who has likened him to England’s Jadon Sancho.
” He is someone who has a lot of potential. He is an attacking midfielder, can play either in the center, on the right or on the left. If you are to compare his style, it would be maybe similar to that of Jadon Sancho of Borussia Dortmund. I am not saying they are the same players but in terms of style. That’s the type of style you can expect from Jayden.” McKinstry said f the youngster.
ELVIS OKELLO BWOMONO
He was born on 29th November 1998 (21 years) and currently plays as a full-back for League One club Southend United in England
Bwomono was born in Uganda and lived here until the age of three before moving to London, England where he attended Hatch End High School.
As a footballer, he started his career at Queens Park Rangers FC before later joining Southend United at the age of 14. In October 2017, he signed his first professional contract with the club.
With the absence of Hassan Wasswa, Nurushid Juuko and Denis Guma the defense will need a shuffle and numbers needed especially on the right back to give competition for Nicholas Wadada and Bevis Mugabi where Bwomono will be tasted.
KARL ANTHONY UCHECHUKWU MUBIRU IKPEAZU
Mubiru was born in Harrow, London to a Nigerian father and Ugandan mother. He was born on 28th February 1995 (25 years) and currently plays as a forward for Scottish Premiership Club Heart of Midlothian.
He is a former Reading Academy player who also played for clubs like Watford in 2013, Crewe Alexandra, Doncaster Rovers, Port Vale, Blackpool and Cambridge United in England before signing with Heart of Midlothian in April 2018.
McKinstry says he will offer the physical and forward intelligence that Cranes have lacked for a while now.
“He is tall, brings other players in the game and will bring add something new to the team. We are confident that these three boys are coming in to compete and show they merit a place on the team.” The coach added.
Ikpeazu is an athletic 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) forward who possesses pace and power although sometimes struggles with ball control. He has said in his own words that, “my strength is my strength and I have to use that but I have other aspects to my game”