September 23, 2021

‘I couldn’t enjoy it more’ – Watambala describes Uganda senior debut vs South Sudan

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The attacking midfielder was introduced in the second half for injured Khalid Aucho as the Cranes tackled Bright Stars at Kitende

Vipers SC midfielder Karim Watambala has described his Uganda senior debut in the African Cup of Nations qualifiers as “a proud moment” after he made an appearance against South Sudan.

Watambala was introduced in the second half when Khalid Aucho was injured and was part of the squad that pushed hard and delivered a 1-0 victory for the Cranes at the St Mary’s Stadium.

“It was a special moment and I couldn’t enjoy it more than I did,” the 2019 Cecafa winner told the club’s website.

“The coach [Jonathan McKinstry] said ‘just enjoy it, get on the ball, try and get a few touches in and just enjoy the game’.

“I think it is a proud moment. You work hard to get there and the club and coach have helped me so it is just a proud moment getting some minutes in the national colours.”

The 20-year-old attacking midfielder described what the moment was like when he just got onto the pitch against the Bright Stars, who were especially resolute in their defence.

“I just tried to get into the game, got a few touches, so it was good, but I now have to keep my feet on the ground and keep working hard,” he added. “When my chances come, I have just got to take them.

“I think the coach has done a brilliant job and helped me improve so much since he saw me make my debut for my club [Vipers SC]. I am not the first one [to make my debut] and l know how it feels donning that Cranes jersey.” 

Watambala would be hopeful for a start on November 16, especially after McKinstry explained the need to have new players face South Sudan in Nairobi.

“We are likely to make changes in the second game because energy levels are important,” the Irish coach said.

“You saw players had to leave everything on the field and so yes a number of new players are going to start the second game because we need fresh legs.

“We expect another tough the encounter which is going to take another 90 minutes of intensity to get the results we want.

“Everyone knows the status of the group and our number one priority is to maintain our top position in the group after South Sudan games as we said.”