By Spy Uganda
Uganda goalkeepers’ trainer Fred Kisitu Kajoba has praised the impact of the TotalEnergies Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) tournament on players playing in their domestic leagues in Africa.
The former international made his fifth CHAN appearance as a backroom staff member of the Cranes at the ongoing competition in Algeria as they exited at the first stage of the tournament designed only for home-based players.
A goalkeeper-cum-striker in his playing days, Kajoba has deep knowledge and experience in the game, having played professionally as an outfield player and a goalkeeper.
He was part Uganda’s technical bench as the goalkeepers’ trainer 2011, 2014, 2016, 2018, and he was part of the Cranes team in this year edition as they narrowly crashed out at the group stage.
Kajoba he has earned the right to make an appraisal of the tournament thanks to his deep experience of competition from when it started 14 years ago in Cote d’Ivoire.
“I have to thank CAF for giving local based players the chance to showcase their talent at this level. It was timely and we all have seen the fruits,” Kajoba said in an exclusive interview.
“The domestic players play to the fullest with the opportunity given to them at the CHAN which opens up many doors for them.
“A lot has changed from its start to date and that means the years have made a huge difference as so many players have used this platform.”
Kajoba has worked with six coaches in the dugout of the Cranes, the latest being Milutin Sredojevic, the coach that led the Cranes in their CHAN campaign in Algeria
“I have gained experience from each of the coaches. During this period, we qualified for the 2017 and 2019 AFCON. CHAN 2020 qualification was so special because I worked with a local based coach Moses Basena. I cannot specifically pick out what each one of them contributed, but I have learned a lot.
“I keep learning from coach Milutin Sredojevic who has vast knowledge about African and global football. He knows the deepest village in Uganda where football is played. I pick some of his tactics to help me with scouting new and young goalkeepers,” Kajoba opined.
Uganda lays claim to one of the finest African goalies in Denis Onyango, who recently retired from international football sparking fears that it would be difficult for a suitable replacement to be found.
But the erstwhile Vipers manager believes that the likes of Ismail Watenga, Charles Lukwago, Alionzi Nafian, Joel Mutakubwa, Jack Komakeck and Salim Jamal can fill the legendary shot-stopper’s boots.
“Onyango is a role model and true representation of men who stand between the sticks. I worked with him for years and he is highly professional. Since his retirement, I started a scouting exercise for a new generation of goalies, and we now have about 20 youngsters.”