10 November 2012

Uganda: Cecafa - Cranes Have All the Firepower

Dan Serunkuma has decided to withdraw from the East and Central Africa Tusker Senior Challenge Cup (Cecafa Cup) competition.

Reason? The striker has preferred to concentrate on his club career with Kenyan side Gor Mahia, who have a title decider against Thika United today and FKP Cup games between November 18th and 21st.

I find this disturbing as the player will be on holiday thereafter and a majority of his club teammates will be in Kampala representing Kenya in the regional event that starts on November 24.

Behind this, I suspect Serunkuma is an aggrieved man, who is simply reacting out of emotions to pay back for the period he has since been ignored for national duty.

Whatever the case, the young man's decision should be respected as it makes no sense dragging a disinterested player into camp, who will not offer the team a 100% but become a negative influence.

Of course without him, Cranes will miss the services of an inform striker, whose goal-per-game ratio has not gone unnoticed.

Neighbours Kenya are trying to influence the 22-year-old to represent the Harambee Stars and rightly so as his 17-goals tally in the Kenyan Premier League has been amazing.

But considering the assembly of attacking options considered to for the regional tournament, Uganda should find no problems defending her title.

The forthcoming championship should be an opportunity for Kiiza in particular to blossom.

Of all the Cranes strikers, Kiiza is the only figure that has not been granted a significant opportunity to shine.

Over the years, Geoffrey Massa, Brian Umony and Emmanuel Okwi have all benefited from the freedom they have been offered to perform and none has disappointed. The 2012 edition should bring the best out of Kiiza, a selfless and versatile striker.

The secret is how often any given coach can bring that day from him and Tanzanian club Yanga seem to have found that just as Marian Doran did at Nalubaale, where he gathered 45 goals in three seasons.

Kiiza has wonderful positioning in the box and above all that anticipation of being in the right place at the right time -element that Bobby Williamson personally relishes.

How about Martin Mutumba?

After being subjected to unprecedented criticism following his disappointing display during the 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw against Senegal in June, Mutumba was forced to return to the drawing board and review his game.

And although it has taken a while, the results have been positive. His recall to the side to redeem himself in the Uganda Cranes shirt was deserved.

If Mutumba does start Cranes group games which should be the case, it will be interesting to see how Williamson utilizes him this time.

His agility makes him the right candidate to resolve Cranes' troubles on the left.

His dexterous footwork enables him to manoeuvre the ball quickly and often creates yards of space when there appears to be none. The key is pairing him with the correct full-back.

Mutumba comes into the centre of the pitch so quickly that he needs someone constantly overlapping to stretch the opposition, and widen the gaps for him to drift through.

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