Geoffrey Massa retirement from international football after a 12-year career on the national team has prompted tributes from many football loving Ugandans.
Among them is coach Mulitin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic who has been in charge for the previous four years in which Massa captained the side since Andrew Mwesigwa unofficially hung up the boots.
In a brief interview, the Serb said there was no better time for the former Police FC, El Masry and Baroka FC forward to retire than after leading his nation to the finals of Africa Cup of Nations.
“Playing at the AFCON finals is the end of the road,” stated Micho. “This brings situation and deep analysis are made, and whatever he has judged that his time to pull himself out in international retirement is right,” he added.
We highly value and sincerely appreciate all his contribution and feel proud that almost 50% of his goals for the national team as a record goal scorer in the AFCON and World Cup qualifiers have come during my reign in my last four years and we thank all the immeasurable contribution. We wish him all the best and thank him for all the contribution and effort diligence service he has given to the national team.
The Serbian now looks forward to finding a permanent replacement for the skipper who has been the Uganda Cranes’ lead forward for the past decade or so.
For the armband, Micho has hinted at Denis Masinde Onyango as the natural replacement.
But we need to look forward to find an able replacement and a new era is starting today when he retires and we need to find a permanent captain that naturally is supposed to be Denis Onyango. We need to look for the striking line replacement because this country doesn’t have 50 strikers that one is gone and you have 49 ready.
Geoffrey Sserunkuma, Hamis Kiiza and Emmanuel Okwi in line
Micho says the country has a lot of young strikers with skills but not strong shoulders to lead the national team attacking force.
However, he says the return of Kizza and Okwi and the form of league leading marksman Geoffrey Sserunkuma is the next to look out for.
This country has some young strikers with skills but not with strong shoulders to carry their national team striking force. We have some people that are returning like Okwi and Diego Kiiza. But anyhow contest for a lead striker of the Cranes is officially starting now and we shall see who will do that. Naturally, the league’s leading goal scorer Geoffrey Sserunkuma leads in contest.
The Cranes have played two warm up games in the past week, drawing 1-1 with Kenya and winning 3-1 against French Military side at Namboole.
From the look of things, the ex-Amavubi coach wasn’t as impressed and says the forwards must up their game if they are to overcome teams in the FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifiers and those in the 2019 AFCON qualifiers.
However, when we deeply analyse in last 10 days what we have seen, our striking force need to put up their performance because the challenges that we are having against Cape Verde, Lesotho and Tanzania in the Afcon qualifiers and against Egypt, Congo and Ghana in the World Cup qualifiers.
None of the current generation of the forwards have hit double figures in the qualification campaign.