The Observer (Kampala)

Uganda Players Reap Big From Cecafa

The true picture of Uganda's Cecafa Cup success is starting to emerge. Days after The Cranes' 13th Cecafa title, several players have attracted interest from giant Tanzanian clubs, writes Elly Kyeyune.

Cranes custodian Abel Dhaira has already secured a two-year deal with Simba, in a deal that ends his two-year stint with IBV Vestmannaeyja in Iceland.

Widely seen as the long-term successor to current Cranes first choice Dennis Onyango, Dhaira has had a career plagued by injuries; but his talent has never been questioned.

That's why the Tanzanian outfit cared little about the injury that sidelined him for much of the tournament. Brian Umony, who was player of the tournament, is set to complete a move to big-spending Azam FC, also in Tanzania.

Umony thus maintains his reputation as a traveler, having played in South Africa, the United States, Vietnam, and back to Uganda with KCCA.

However, the most surprising move is midfielder Saidi Kyeyune's. Though he came off the bench in two games, he did enough to convince Yanga scouts that he is a hot prospect.

The URA player reveals that Yanga officials have contacted URA for a possible move to Tanzania.

"Yanga African technical team approached me but I advised them to go through the proper channels," says the 19-year-old creative midfielder.

The Tanzanian league is a big attraction for Ugandan players and already, Emmanuel Okwi and Hamis 'Diego' Kiiza are playing their trade at Simba and Yanga respectively.

However, the impending moves don't guarantee any success given that several players have failed the Tanzanian test before. Dan Wagaluka spent just one season at Azam, before he was declared surplus to requirements while Steven Bengo joined Yanga with pomp in 2010, only to return a year later.

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