Emmanuel Arnold Okwi in action during Uganda Cranes friendly with France Military at Mandela National Stadium, Namboole Credit: © Kawowo Sports | AMINAH BABIRYE

It is official that forward Emmanuel Arnold Okwi is the next Uganda Cranes captain.

Okwi currently plies his professional trade with Al Ittihad Alexandria Club in the Egypt Premier League.

His first assignment will be during the international friendly away to South Africa on 12th June 2021.

Emmanuel Arnold Okwi celebrates a goal for Uganda Cranes

He takes over the mantle from retired goalkeeper Denis Onyango who had served in the role since 2017 after taking over Geofrey Massa.

Massa had served upon the successful service of Andrew Mwesigwa.

The former Sports Club Villa and Simba forward is experienced, has the leadership skills and has played for the Uganda Cranes team for now a decade, including the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals in 2019 (Egypt).

He has often donned the arm band at times Onyango and then his vice captain Hassan Wasswa Mawanda were not able to play for the Uganda Cranes.

Okwi takes on the huge responsibility to lead the country without fear or favour at a time there is a rebuilding process for the national team with new players coming into the set up as the long serving gracefully retire.

Representing Uganda is a privilege that I don’t take for granted. I am deeply honoured to be named captain by the Uganda Cranes coach. I appreciate the technical bench and my teammates for their trust. I also thank all fans for their continued support to the national team.

Emmanuel Arnold Okwi, Uganda Cranes captain

Uganda Cranes play South Africa during an international friendly match as the two countries commence life after unsuccessful AFCON 2021 qualification campaigns.

This international friendly match is also a precursor prior to the upcoming FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

Provisional team to face South Africa:

Goalkeepers: Ismael Watenga (Chippa United, South Africa), Mathias Kigonya (Azam, Tanzania), Charles Lukwago (KCCA, Uganda), Simon Tamale (Soltilo Bright Stars, Uganda)

Defenders: Elvis Bwomono (South End, England), Mustapha Kizza (Montreal Impact, Canada), Murushid Juuko (Express, Uganda), Patrick Paul Mbowa (URA, Uganda), Gavin Kizito Mugweri (SC Villa, Uganda), Azizi Kayondo (Vipers, Uganda), Halid Lwaliwa (Vipers, Uganda), Kenneth Ssemakula (Busoga United, Uganda), Enock Walusimbi (Express, Uganda), Hassan Muhamood (Police, Uganda), Innocent Wafula (Mbarara City, Uganda)

Midfielders: Moses Waiswa Ndohondhi (Super Sport United, South Africa), Tadeo Lwanga (Simba, Tanzania), Abdu Lumala (Pyramids, Egypt), Bobosi Byaruhanga (Vipers, Uganda), Ivan Sserubiri (URA, Uganda), Bright Anukani (KCCA, Uganda), Shafik Kuchi Kagimu (URA, Uganda), Isma Mugulusi (Busoga United, Uganda), Ibrahim Orit (Vipers, Uganda), Joseph Akandwanaho (Soltilo Bright Stars, Uganda)

Forwards: Emmanuel Arnold Okwi (Al Ittihad Alexandria Club, Egypt), Allan Okello (Paradou AC, Algeria), Patrick Henry Kaddu (Youssoufia Berrechid, Morocco), Yunus Sentamu (Vipers, Uganda), Richard Basangwa (Vipers, Uganda), Derrick Kakooza (Police, Uganda), Erick Kenzo Kambale (Express, Uganda)

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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