Tonny Mawejje

Johnathan McKinstry says he knows when to start or bench his experienced lads – Tonny Mawejje and Denis Iguma.

The two are the most experienced players in the Uganda Cranes squad at the ongoing 2020 Africa Nations Championships in Cameroon but all started on the bench in the 0-0 draw with Rwanda on Monday.

Mawejje who has been part of the national team for close to two decades was introduced at half time for Bright Anukani while Iguma remained unused substitute despite his ability to play effectively anywhere in defence or midfield.

Johnathan McKinstry, Uganda Cranes head coach (Credit: FUFA Media)

“On Mawejje and Iguma, obviously both of them are quality players and they have their role on the squad and the team,” McKinstry told the Daily Monitor after Monday’s clash.

Sometimes they will start, sometimes they will be on the bench, and the rationale for having such players in was the experience they bring when it’s needed. They can be on the field to help and guide those younger players and that’s what Tonny did when he came on.

McKinstry on Mawejje and Iguma

The former Sierra Leone and Rwanda coach also hinted at continuing to trust the young lads for the next games believing giving them another opportunity gives them more confidence.

Mawejje stabilized things when he came on but the Northern Irishman doesn’t believe he could have gone with another midfield on the day against Rwanda.

Denis Iguma Credit: John Batanudde

“It really is hard to say because what you’ve got to remember, you’ve got to go on the evidence that we have.

“The evidence we have through the qualifying, Cecafa, through even the Pre-Chan tournament, each of these tournaments the levels are getting higher and higher.

The players (younger) that you’re talking of, they showed in each of these levels that they were taking step by step progress. So in any industry really, if they continue fulfilling requirements of each level, then you have to reinforce that confidence by giving them the opportunity at the next level.

McKinstry still believes in young lads to do the job

McKinstry who guided Rwanda to the quarter finals of the competition in 2006 also says the Chan is a tournament to expose young lads.

Abdul Karim Watambala and Mike Azira

“So I think the purpose of Chan is to provide the platform for talented young players to go out and showcase themselves. It’s the same approach I took for Rwanda in 2016, majority of players there were young.

“So, the experienced guys are there. They will play their role. Sometimes they will start; sometimes they will come into the game.”

Uganda’s next game in the tournament is against Togo on Friday and it remains to be seen whether both Mawejje and Iguma will have some minutes in the game.

Senior Staff writer at Kawowo Sports mainly covering football

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. The CHAN team should make the foundation of the full Cranes.
    They can regularly get together and practice set-pieces among other things.

    So that when the foreign legion comes in for the few days that they do, you already have players who are good at set-pieces.

    FUFA can save money on the professional player’s air tickets too.

Leave a comment

Please let us know what you think