Over the past decade, a number of foreign based players with Ugandan roots have been tried out with little success for the national football team Cranes.
Previous Cranes coaches including Bobby Williamson and his successor Micho Sredojevic after witnessing poor returns from mainly from the forwards tried out the likes of Fabian Kizito, Melvyn Lorenzen to no avail.
Others including Joel Kitamirike, Savio Nsereko, and Martin Mutumba have not all been tied down for different reasons.
Current Cranes coach Sebastien Desabre has also not been spared the bug trying out Bevis Mugabi before opting against inviting the defender for today’s qualifier against Tanzania.
It was thus a surprise when the 21 year old Moses Opondo who moved to Denmark with his mother as a four year old made the cut for the 24 players that have been in camp.
Turning out for Danish topflight league club Vendsyssel the midfielder was described as “explosive” by his current coach Jens Berthel Askou after signing a contract extension earlier this year.
“We are really, really happy to have him a few more years. Moses is a modern football player, having a fantastic physique, is explosive,” Askou noted.
Having made his debut for the Cranes in a 2-1 loss during their training camp in Niger in late May, the youngster who operates mostly centrally has been in fine form for his side.
Opondo has managed three assists and goal in eight league games in the Danish top division making him one of the most in-form and active players in the squad.
Also described as down to earth, many will hope he turns to be the offensive midfielder Desabre has been crying out for. Any contribution could see him become a fans’ darling.
OPONDO AT A GLANCE
Date of birth:
28 October 1997 (age 20)
Place of birth: Uganda
Playing position: Midfielder
Current team: Vendsyssel FF
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2016– Vendsyssel FF 51 (2)
2018– Uganda 1