Striker Steven Mukwala was touted as one for the future as he burst onto the scene at Kibuli SS in 2016. However, since his move to giants Vipers SC in 2017, the forward has failed to carry the weight of expectations at the club.
Lying on the fringes of the first team at Kitende, Mukwala opted for a loan move away from the club, joining Maroons FC at the start of the season.
As the first round comes to a wrap, Mukwala has surely made it back to the big times, leading the StarTimes Uganda Premier League scorers’ charts with 10 goals.
His form and influence for the Prisons side earned him a call back to the national team fold, making it on the 30-man initial Cranes squad that will prepare for the upcoming CECAFA Senior challenge cup.
And Mukwala is fervent to prove his worth with the national team, when the tournament kicks off on 7th December in Kampala, if he gets to make the 20 man squad.
“As a striker, I feel good because I have put up a good show in the league, which I hope I can replicate on the national team,” Mukwala said after the Cranes’ morning training session at the StarTimes Stadium Lugogo.
Mukwala who has played for the Uganda U-20 and U-23 youth sides is among the pool of strikers on the Uganda Cranes’ team, that includes Fahad Bayo and Ben Ocen, with whom he will have to tussle out with for a spot on the final squad.
“This is not the first time to be included on the national team, because I have been in the national team set up, but this time around I have to prove against the best.”
“I think I will perform well because we are the same players who are playing in the league, so I must be at my best to prove the doubters wrong.”
“I will just have to replicate my league form and do my best in training in order to make the final squad which will play in the tournament, I believe in myself and my confidence on the ball,” Mukwala added.
The Cranes who are record winners of the championship with 14 titles have been drawn in Group A alongside 2005 and four time winners Ethiopia, Burundi who were runners up in 2004 and minnows Eritrea whose best finish was fourth in 1994.
Goalkeeper: Charles Lukwago (KCCA FC), James Alitho (URA), Joel Mutakubwa (Kyetume FC), Jack Komakech (Football for Good), Keni Saidi (SC Villa)
Defender: Paul Willa (Vipers SC), Ashraf Mandela (URA FC), Mustapha Kizza (KCCA FC), Disan Galiwango (Express FC) John Revita (KCCA FC), Samuel Kato (KCCA FC), Halid Lwaliwa (Vipers SC), Musitafa Mujuzi (Proline FC), Paul Mbowa (URA FC)
Midfielders: Nicholas Kasozi (KCCA FC), Shafiq Kagimu (URA FC), Hassan Ssenyonjo (Wakiso Giants FC), Muzamiru Mutyaba (KCCA FC), Karim Watambala (Vipers FC), Kirizestom Ntambi (Wakiso Giants FC), Allan Okello (KCCA FC), Bright Anukani (Proline FC), Joachim Ojera (URA FC)
Strikers: Ben Ocen (Police FC), Vianne Ssekajjugo (Wakiso Giants FC), Allan Kayiwa (Vipers SC), Joel Madondo (Busoga United FC), Fahad Bayo (Vipers SC), Stephen Mukwala (Maroons FC), Lubega Edrisa (Proline FC)