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Sekiganda steps up to make case for home-based players

At least six players from the StarTimes Uganda Premier League (SUPL) made an appearance in the Uganda Cranes lineups that faced both Botswana and Algeria in the 2026 Fifa World Cup qualifiers between June 7 and 10 at Namboole stadium.

A few years ago, that would have been highly unlikely. Yet, in the absence of injured Cranes skipper Khalid Aucho, who plies his trade in Tanzania for Yanga FC, SC Villa’s lanky midfielder Ronald Ssekiganda, 21, wore his shirt number eight, and creditably, took on the task of international football for the very first time.

According to Ssekiganda, the SUPL is producing players that can compete with the best. Ssekiganda, who had only played three games for The Cranes before this double-header, to many is a new kid on the block.

Yet, he was not substituted in either game, proving his worth to the team, as even his coach at Villa, Dusan Stojanovic never shied away from saying en route to winning the championship.

“I believe the SUPL has improved me as a player. And without that platform, I do not think coach Paul Put would have considered me. So, while I know how much quality players who play in foreign leagues bring, the products from the SUPL proved against Botswana and Algeria that our domestic league is growing,” Ssekiganda said.

However, even with this view, Ssekiganda was disappointed that Cranes lost to Algeria because he does not think there was much that separated them.

But Ssekiganda noted that international football has taught him that to succeed at the top, one has got to have speed of thought and application, good vision, technique, game understanding, and strength. Therein lies his focus, if he is to become a top footballer, he admitted.

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