South African first-choice goalkeeper Ronwen Williams barely offered a Ugandan throw to Denis Onyango to look into the Mameloda Sundowns this season.
Onyango literally spends sleepless nights trying to repel his starting pier and would not want the slightest distraction.
And then came the matches of former Crains colleague Tony Maweje against the current Uganda Crains team and them, who participated in the 2017 Afcon tournament after a 39-year agonising wait.
Onyango, who defeated Chippa United 2-1 at the weekend, asked for special permission to at least take part in today's match in Lugogo and refuse Saturday's meeting against the same team at Masak's resting court. He must argue again for the Sanddowns on Sunday against AmaZulu on home – albeit from the bench again.
“It was one moment I can't afford to miss. We must start this culture of sending great performers with dignity and also encourage those who are still active to fight for consistency in their playing careers like Mawejje,” Onyango told the Daily Naijium.
He is adamant that he can get a second bite in the cherry at his club if he continues to be positive and work hard.
– I've been through this situation before and I'll get over it. I briefly returned to support my ‘brother' Maveje because he diligently served Ugandan football and deserves a hypocritical departure,” Onyango added.
According to Mawei, who officially hung up his boots at the end of last season with police recalled, fans who come to his “last dance” will have the opportunity to watch the players who excited them at the time.
“Rest assured to catch players like Onyango, Dennis Igumah, Joseph Ochaya, Godfrey Valushimbie, Vincent Kaisi, Hassan Wasswa, Mike Serumaga, Brian Umoni, Dan Vagaluka Jeffrey Massa and Jeffrey Sserunkuma in action,” Mawayye said.
The proceeds from both matches will help the former boxing midfielder to start a full-fledged academy in the specialty of excavation of midfielders at a tender age.
Locally, Maweye played for the KCC, Police (twice) and URA. His professional activities led him to trade for Valur, Tirana, Haugesund, Golden Arrow, Prottur, Al-Arabi and IBV in a largely illustrious club career that spanned about 20 years.
Mawayye, 36, spent 13 years with the national team and left an indelible mark as a workaholic midfielder who wore a Cranes jersey with pure pride and with a heart on his sleeve.
“I could have insisted on playing, but I feel like it's time to leave the stage for the young guys to show what they have in their tanks,” he says with a touch of satisfaction.
In honor of Maweye's 84 matches and the return of eight goals with the national team, Uganda Crains coach Milutin Sredojevic, aka Micho, decided to play in front of a competitive team that is also due to play in a four-country tournament in Libya after Saturday's match.
However, Micho will exclude foreign players Josue Bellagambi, Abdul Azizi Kayondo, Musa Ramatan, Steven Servadda, Derrick Kakooza and Sadat Anaka from two matches.
Viper players Hillary Mukundane, Abdu Karim Vatambala, Bright Anukani and Najib Iga also gained the freedom to focus on the Champions League rematch against Olympic Real De Bangui at St Mary's Kitende Stadium on Saturday.
Micho's wards, who are soon preparing to qualify for the Olympics, will bring recognized local stars such as Garvin Kizito Mugveri, James Bagisa, Kenneth Semakula , Ivan Irinimbazi, Abdullah Salim, Isma Mugulusi, Hakeem Kivanuka, Travis Mutyaba, Titus Ssematimba and Richard Basangwa to the competition.