The inclusion of the experienced Tonny Mawejje, Murushid Jjuuko and Denis Iguma in the Uganda Cranes team preparing for the 2021 Afcon qualifier against South Sudan has raised eyebrows.
The three haven’t played active football for over a year with Iguma only returning from a long term injury, Mawejje hasn’t played since leaving Al Arabi last year while Jjuuko last played in November last year after falling out with his bosses in Morocco.
The trio has since joined the local ranks with Mawejje at Police, Jjuuko at Express and Iguma at KCCA.
“They are three guys who have huge experience and have played at really high levels of the game but for some reasons, the last nine or ten months have not been as they would have liked them to be,” McKinstry told media at Lugogo.
“But also for all of them, they have moved categories recently because by signing for a UPL team means they are eligible for CHAN,” he elaborated.
“We are going to start preparing for CHAN around December 14. So, if I wait until then to see Tony (Mawejje), Murushid (Jjuuko) and Denis (Iguma) in our training environment then it is probably late for them.”
McKinstry believes it was important for the three to be part of the six day training of local players to have a look at them mainly for further involvement because their quality and experienced can’t be overlooked.
“This was a case of we have six days training with the local guys so let’s bring them in and see where they are physically and technically and even how they fit into our system.
“If you think about it, the type of Cranes team that they played under is a different one that we are building now, so it is a great opportunity for them to come and see how we are developing the team.
You should never discard experience because it is so valuable. The trio hold huge experience that can only help the young boys but it is down to their performance. No one gets a free ticket just because of their experience.Johnathan McKinstry on Mawejje, Jjuuko and Iguma
Uganda takes on South Sudan on November 12 at St. Mary’s stadium, Kitende in the first leg before the return leg in Nairobi four days later while the Chan will be played between January 16 and February 7 2021 in Cameroon.
Uganda are drawn in Group C alongside defending champions Morocco, neighbours Rwanda and West African nation Togo in the Chan.