Retiring Cranes midfielder Mawejje

Midfielder Tonny Mawejje has thanked fans for all the support they showed him while he was still an active football player.

The former Uganda Cranes player retired from the sport and had a testimonial match played in his honour to bid farewell to him on Wednesday at the MTN Omondi in Lugogo.

Hundreds of fans turned up at the Stadium to witness Mawejje’s last touches as a player before he sets up a football academy.

Mawejje announced in May this year after featuring for Police FC in the Uganda Premier League that he had retired from football after almost two decades.

The first testimonial match was played on Wednesday to bid farewell to Mawejje between the national Under 23 national team coached by Uganda Cranes head coach Milutin Sredojevic Micho against Tonny Mawejje select team.

The match ended 2-1 in favour of Mawejje’s select team. Uganda U23’s goal came in the 26th minute through Hakim Kiwanuka before Emmanuel Okwi equalised after five minutes, and later Shaban Muhammad scored the winning goal for Mawejje select team in the second half.

Mawejje’s select team was a blend of former Cranes players including former captain Denis Onyango, Hassan Wasswa, and Vincent Kayiizi among others, and current Uganda Cranes players including Yunus Sentamu, Emmanuel Okwi, and Shaban Muhamad, and a few Tonny Mawejje personal friends, coached by George Ssemwogerere.

In the presence of many officials who graced the match, including renowned former Cranes coach and Minister Jaberi Bidandi Ssali, Mawejje’s select-team donned former national jersey that Uganda Cranes used in the 2017 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations – AFCON in Gabon while the under 23 team used the current cranes’ jersey.

After the game, Mawejje, who is going to start a football academy to train “the next-generation midfielders”, thanked fans for turning up in big numbers to watch his farewell game.

Retiring Cranes midfielder Mawejje

Former Cranes skipper Denis Onyango applauded the retiring Mawejje for working hard during his active days and urged young players to borrow a leaf from his career.

In fact, Onyango says he was forced to come back from South Africa where he features for Mamelodi Sundowns to attend Mawejje’s farewell because of his diligent service.

Coach George Ssemwogerere also said that many players who quest to become top-class midfielders must learn from Mawejje, but also the Federation should empower local football coaches who can scout such players when they are still young.