Beating Angola is Cranes main target,Coach Bobby Williamson

Sep 01, 2011

Uganda Cranes, the leaders in Group J could qualify for the next Africa Cup of Nations if they beat Angola in Luanda this weekend. They still have one match in hand but a win in Angola is crucial to their return to the continental championship for the first time in 33 years.

Ugandan Journalist Ahmed Hussein of  Sanyu FM in Kampala had an in-depth interview with Cranes Coach Bobby Williamson ahead of their match against Angola. For Bobby this could be one of his toughest matches since he took over Cranes about two years ago.


The cranes set camp in Nairobi and are set to leave Thursday for the Angolan capital. Uganda will host Kenya in their last qualifier in October.

Ahmed: Bobby, the next three weeks are tough for Ugandan football. The Cranes will play Angola in Luanda this Sunday while the junior team Under-23 Kobs is featuring in the All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique.

Bobby: These are exciting times we are looking forward to. We discovered it was going to tough along the way. The most important match as far as I’m concerned is Angola away. If we can secure the point we need to qualify for the tournament, it would be fantastic. If we don’t get the point, we have the Kenya game at home and we can always do well. We would like to get over it as quick as possible but as I said we can’t under estimate Angola at home .But we need to stay focussed, organised and disciplined.

Ahmed:  You said this is a tough game. Are treating it as a cup final?

Bobby: Every game is a cup final. Even when I played my last game as a player it was like a cup final. As a coach, I need to see the team play very well because there are always three points or one point for grabs.

Ahmed: The fans and media were disappointed that they will not see the boys in training for the second successive time as you have decided to take the team far away. You have been unpredictable of recent with your plans.

Bobby: The fans know the boys we are going with and have seen more often. But taking the team away for a camp helps us keep the players from destructions. Some of the players can get demoralised if the media starts speculating on the line ups. What we did in Senegal before we went to Guinea Bissau worked well but we hope it works out again in Kenya. Time will tell.

Ahmed: Are you feeling any pressures at this stage of the campaign?

Bobby: There is no pressure now.  When we get close to the game and it is about to kick off that is when I start thinking about the game. I’m just hoping to get the players all available. The whole country is depending on the Angola-Uganda match on Sunday and that creates some pressure because we have not been in the finals for a long time. I know how the fans feel right now. They will be monitoring the result of the Sunday game in Angola.

Ahmed:  Six points up for grabs, but one will be enough.  Has this crossed your mind?

Bobby: It is not necessary really to think about that point. What matters is how the table looks like at the end of the qualification campaign. We need to get enough points to take us to the next level-finals. We have got to be positive in the remaining fixtures.

Ahmed: The inspirational captain Ibrahim Sekagya is back.... 

Bobby: The stand in skipper Andy Mwesigwa played a pivotal role in the absence of Sekagya against Guinea Bissau. Both Mwesigwa and Sekagya have played very well together. It is nice to have Sekagya back. Mwesigwa is a player whom I admire a lot. He has also availed himself for Uganda in various tournaments like CECAFA.

Ahmed: Dennis Onyango is yet to concede a goal. You must be a proud coach as Uganda and South Africa are the only two countries yet to let in a goal in this campaign so far.

Bobby: I rate Onyango highly. He learnt from his past mistakes. He is a top quality player and he has grown strong mentally. If he manages another clean sheet then Cranes will be in the finals.

Ahmed: What of the temperamental David Obua?

Bobby: We will see how Obua trains. Every player will be assessed including Obua. I know if he if he is called up as a starter of substitute he will do well. I never doubt his qualities.

Ahmed: Attacking or defensive in Luanda?

Bobby: I’m hoping they will be attacking more than we will be defending. You can’t decide on your formation with several days left to the game.  I’m not going to promise our fans the kind of formations and tactics that we shall use.

 The Cranes Squad: Onyango, Dhaira Abel, Masaba Simon, Sekagya, Kizito, Mwesigwa, Walusimbi, Waswa Hassan, Mudde Mussa, Kabagambe Joseph, Obua, Kayizzi Vicent, Ochan Patrick, Mawejje Tonny, Massa Godfrey,  Kizza, Serunkuma Geoffrey,  Mike Mutyaba.


 Sportsnewsarena Correspondent 

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