Uganda Cranes head coach Jonathan McKinstry on Thursday named a 20- man squad for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier double header against South Sudan this month.
The squad summoned had three new faces that have earned their first call to the national team. These include Karl Anthony Uchechukwu Mubiru Ikpeazu(Heart of Midlothian FC), Elvis Okello Bwomono(South End, England) and Jayden Onen (Brentford B, England),
Kawowo Sports’ Joel Muyita brings details about each of the three aforementioned players.
Roy Jayden Onen (Brentford B, England)
Onen was born on 17th February 2001 to Brian Innocent Onen and Dion Joan Chapman. He was born at North Middlesex Hospital in Edmonton.
His father left Uganda in the 1970s and sought asylum in England because of the political insurgency in the country at the time.
He is an attacking midfielder who began his career at the Arsenal FC academy. Onen played for Brighton and Hove U21 team from where signed a one and half years contact with Brentford B last year.
Coach McKinstry indicated he is a very talented player who was open to the idea of playing for the national team.
“We have been in discussion with the player, his club and the family. He is very positive about playing for Uganda and we hope he will be a good addition.”
Currently, Onen holds British citizenship but FUFA is working hard to make sure he attains duo citizenship before the game against South Sudan.
Elvis Okello Bwomono (Southend, England)
He was born on 29th November 1998 and currently plays as a full-back for League One club Southend United.
Bwomono was born in Uganda and lived with his parents in Gulu district 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.
Unlike Onen, Bwomono is fully a Ugandan citizen and holds a Ugandan passport.
McKinstry intimated to Kawowo Sports Bwomono’s parents live both here and in England and revealed that he has been in close talks with the family.
“The player and family are very positive about him playing for Uganda. I first met the parents during the Christmas period and I also had a cup of Coffee with the player in London in January.”
Since signing for the Southend senior team, the right back has played over 100 games and he is a starter on the team.
This season, he has played 33 games in League One, scoring one goal and registering three assists.
Karl Anthony Uchechukwu Mubiru Ikpeazu (Heart of Midlothian FC, Scotland)
Mubiru was born in Harrow, London of Nigerian/Ugandan parentage. He was born 28th February 1995 and currently plays as a forward for Scottish Premiership Club Heart of Midlothian.
His father, Alexander Madu Ikpeazu is a Nigerian while the mother, Marion Naguta Ikpeazu is a Ugandan who was born and raised in Mengo, Kampala.
According to a source at FUFA that preferred anonymity indicated, the player has a duo citizenship of Nigeria and England but he is open to playing for Uganda.
“He grew up in England but his father is Nigerian and for now he has a duo citizenship of Nigeria and England. Actually the parents including the father are okay with him playing for Uganda.”
“In Uganda, you cannot exceed beyond duo citizenship and thus he was advised to drop either Nigeria or England so that he can earn a Ugandan passport. And that is what we are working on currently.”
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.
Full squad Summoned
Goalkeepers: Dennis Masinde Onyango (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa), Salim Jamal Magoola (Al Hilal, Sudan)
Defenders: Nico Wakiro Wadada (Azam FC, Tanzania), Elvis Okello Bwomono(South End, England), Joseph Benson Ochaya (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Ronald Mukiibi( Östersunds FK Sweden) , Timothy Awany ( F.C. Ashdod, Israel), Brevis Mugabi (Motherwell FC, Scotland), Alex Kakuba ( C.D. Cova da Piedade, Greece)
Midfielders: Mike Azira(Chicago Fire, US) , Jayden Onen (Brentford B, England), Taddeo Lwanga(Tanta FC, Egypt), Aucho Khalid ( Misr Lel Makkasa SC), Allan Okello (Paradou AC, Algeria), Moses Waiswa (Super Sport United FC, South Africa)
Forwards: Emmanuel Arnold Okwi(Al Ittihad Alexandria, Egypt), Abdu Lumala (Pyramids FC, Egypt), Allan Kyambadde (El Gouna, Egypt), Alexis Bakka (UMEA FC), Sweden, Karl Anthony Uchechukwu Mubiru Ikpeazu(Heart of Midlothian FC)