Why Uganda Cranes coach Johnny McKinstry is a happy man

What you need to know:

  • The coronavirus pandemic may have disrupted the globe but several Cranes’ players have turned regulars across the board.
  • On Saturday, Luwagga struck the winner to help Kfar Saba open the Israel Premier League campaign with 2-1 win over Hapoel Tel Avi

Uganda Cranes head coach Johnny McKinstry believes the country is destined for greater heights in the football world thanks to the consistency of foreign-based players in their respect leagues.

The coronavirus pandemic may have disrupted the globe but several Cranes’ players have turned regulars across the board.

“If you look at our players around the world, they are all playing and starting,” McKinstry said.

“Luwagga Kizito, Timothy Awany, Edrisa Lubega, Farouk Miya, Alexis Bakka, you know Denis Onyango, everyone is starting and playing a majority of time,” he added during Saturday’s Lockeroom Show on Radio One.

“Robert Kakeeto, all of them, regulars in their teams. So it’s not that they are just contracted or making up numbers, these are guys who are in the starting XIs and that’s really good for Ugandan football.”

McKinstry, who has been in charge of the Cranes for 11 months, says his programme on the pitch has been affected but much work has been done in creating an off-pitch system. He uses part of the time to watch the players.

“One of the systems we have with the Cranes is ‘Wyscout’ that has all the professional leagues in the world. All of their (Cranes’ players) games are on it so usually my Mondays and Tuesdays are taken off watching all the games,” he added.

On Saturday, Luwagga struck the winner to help Kfar Saba open the Israel Premier League campaign with 2-1 win over Hapoel Tel Aviv.

The forward dedicated his goal to Black Panther movie actor American Chadwick Boseman, who died on Friday.

Still in Israel, defender Awany played 90 minutes while Fahad Bayo debuted in the 79th minute for Ashdod – but they suffered a 2-0 loss to Kiryat Shmona.

Ronald Mukiibi featured at right back and assisted in Östersunds’ 2-1 win over Falkenberg in the Swedish Allsvenskan.

In Swedish second tier, Alexis Bakka assisted the winner for Mikael Wikström as Umea beat Brage 1-0 away.

In the Estonia Meistrilliga, Lubega struck for the 12th time in 19 matches to help Paide Linammeskond to a 3-1 home victory over Tammeka.

Centre-back Mugabi, who was on the winning side in a 5-1 thrashing of Glentoran in the Europa League qualifying round on Thursday, suffered a 3-0 loss with Motherwell against Celtic in the Scottish Premiership.

“He’s played 90 minutes every week. Last season, he was in and out of Motherwell team but this season, he’s a regular,” McKinstry said.

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