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The top squad players that did not play for The Cranes

Uganda Airlines FC squad of the 1980s. Many players of that generation did not get a chance to feature for the Uganda Cranes. Back row (Left-Right): Moses Kayanja, Ndaula, Jimmy Opondo, Godfrey Sekagya, Edris Kakembo, Stephen Nsubuga and skipper Mike Mulo. Front row L-R: Monday Sekiziyivu, Badru Nsubuga, Jimmy Kayanja, Monday and George Kayizi

Uganda Airlines FC squad of the 1980s. Many players of that generation did not get a chance to feature for the Uganda Cranes. Back row (Left-Right): Moses Kayanja, Ndaula, Jimmy Opondo, Godfrey Sekagya, Edris Kakembo, Stephen Nsubuga and skipper Mike Mulo. Front row L-R: Monday Sekiziyivu, Badru Nsubuga, Jimmy Kayanja, Monday and George Kayizi

In the aftermath of profiling Uganda Cranes’ top players who were never featured at the Africa Cup of Nations, I have been asked by some fans to also list the top squad players who were never capped by The Cranes. Here we go.

RASHID MUDIN

He was a key player for KCCA FC and Uganda Commercial Bank (UCB). He made the cut for The Cranes squad that featured at the 1978 Afcon in Ghana. However, Mudin did not feature in any of The Cranes matches. His career stretched from 1975 to 1982.

SAM TIMBE

In spite of being the first-choice goalie for highflying Coffee FC, the presence of top custodians such as Paul Ssali and Jamil Kasirye denied Timbe the chance to be capped by the national team. His top-level career lasted from 1976 to 1983.

ASUMANI LUBOWA

He had consistency in his game while playing for Lint, NIC, and Uganda Airlines in the 1970s and 80s. His execution of dead balls made him a special player, but the towering defender was featured only for the national youth team. He played top-level football between 1976 and 1983.

MOSES BASENA

He was a midfielder of high repute, especially during his time at Jinja-based Tobacco FC and, later, Coffee FC. However, he was always overlooked by national team coaches. Even when he switched to right back and moved to SC Villa in 1992, the situation did not change. His top-level football career stretched from 1987 to 1994.

FREDERICK KIYINGI MUSISI

The flying winger shone at a time when Godfrey Kateregga, Fred Mukasa and Sunday Mokiri were mostly favoured because of their big frames. Musisi was always on top of his game while at UCB FC and later at KCCA. His top-level career stretched from 1979 to 1984.

MIKE MUTEBI

He was a class apart as a defender and midfielder, but apart from captaining the U-23 national team in 1991 at the Pan African Games, Mutebi never featured for the senior team, yet he displayed classic football at Bell FC and KCCA between 1989 and 1993.

JIMMY SEKANDI

He was a top striker, netting in double figures each season while featuring for Nile, UCB, and Nsambya FC. But the stoutly-built striker remained an unused substitute when Uganda played against Malawi in the 1990 World Cup qualifier. He played top football between 1982 and 1989.

JIMMY BBOSA

He was one of the reasons why Uganda Commercial Bank (UCB) won the 1979 league title due to his brilliant goalkeeping. But Bbosa remained in the shadows of Jamil Kasirye and John Tebusweke when it came to national team duties. He played top football for UCB,  Masaka Union and Coffee from 1978 to 1984.

STEPHEN NSUBUGA

The stylish attacking midfielder scored goals for fun during the late 1980s but only remained a Uganda Cranes squadsman until 1989, when he left the country and relocated to the USA.

JAMES KIRINYA

He came into the football limelight during the revived Bika football tournament in 1987 and thereafter signed for Express, where he continued to impress until 1996. Despite being summoned twice for the national senior team, the winger remained uncapped.

DAVID KAVULE

At the time he moved from Jinja-based Nile to KCCA, Kavule had established himself as a defender of high repute. He travelled with The Cranes to Kenya for the 1989 Cecafa Cup but remained an unused substitute. His top career stretched from 1988 to 1991.

To be continued...

bzziwa@observer.ug

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