Uganda Cranes skipper Andy Mwesigwa, who plies his trade in Kazakhstan, has vowed to die for his country when they face The Teranga Lions of Senegal in a World Cup qualifier.
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MTNFootball.com spoke to Mwesigwa and this is what he had to say.
How do you rate the Senegal side you will face on September 7?
There is nothing really special about the Senegal team. They will be 11 men against a tough 11 Cranes players.
How do you feel now after your injury few days ago in Kazakhstan?
I managed to play a full league game last weekend, but of course I will need a late fitness test to decide if I am fit for the game. But I am ready to die for my country on Saturday.
What is the mood like ahead of this important game?
All the players are very determined to give their best on Saturday and the mood is very high. We are all treating this game like a final.
Going back a few years, when did you actually start playing football?
I started playing football many years ago at Sea Princess Academy in Jinja. We were at the same Academy with the current national basketball star Norman Blick.
What motivated you to play competitive football?
I was motivated by Jinja based Nile FC to play competitive football because they always cared for the players and even paid my school fees.
It was a dream for every young footballer in Jinja to play for Nile FC who played in the top flight premier league. I eventually joined Nile FC in 2000.
For how long did you play for Nile FC?
I played for Nile FC for only one season before it was disbanded by the company Nile Breweries Limited. But I later joined another Premiership side Mbale Heroes in 2001.
I was later appointed captain of Mbale Heroes in 2002 and we even reached the quarter finals of the Kakungulu Cup.
When was your turning point in top flight Uganda premier league football?
It was in 2002 when the coach of top side SC Villa Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic (current Cranes coach) spotted me after a played well against his team. He asked me to join them in 2003.
I was later appointed assistant captain at SC Villa in 2004 to current FA Chief Executive Officer Edgar Watson.
What did you achieve with SC Villa?
We almost qualified for the group stage of the CAF Champions League. We also won the league title in 2003, 2004 and the regional Cecafa Kagame Club Championship title in 2005 without losing a game and conceding a single goal.
I was the captain of the team that won that Cecafa title in Mwanza, Tanzania under Coach Sam Timbe.
When did you join the paid ranks?
I moved to IBV in Iceland in 2006 before switching to another team Chongqing Lifan in China in 2009. We won the Cup with IBV in 2008.
Why did you move to China?
Chongqing Lifan FC offered me good money that I could not resist moving to China. But I had a dream of playing Champions League football or Europa and this forced me to leave China and join FC Ordabasy in Kazakhstan.
What have you achieved with FC Ordabasy?
We won the Kazakhstan Cup in 2011 and I have been selected seven times as best defender in the league. In 2012 we played in Europa League and were eliminated by Rosenburg FC in the second round.
How many caps have you got with the national team?
I have played over 63 times for the Cranes and I want to make over 100.
What do you think about football standards in Uganda today?
I think a lot has improved right from the league and even the national team’s welfare.
With sponsors like MTN Uganda and Nile Breweries Limited supporting the national team, players are happier and more motivated.