WHEN Cranes left fullback Nestroy Kizito announced he was quitting the national team, the country was in fear that there wouldn’t be a fitting replacement. One man was however confident he could measure up to the task. When Godfrey Walusimbi eventually made his debut everyone was impressed. He opened up to Julius Senyimba about various aspects of the game.
Do you think we are like England, we aim high but end up disappointed?
No no no ‘bali baffu nawe’ at least for us, we try to possess and we are far better talent wise, to wrap this, ‘we are better than them’.
However, they have a strong weapon, the press, they can easily turn grounds to the skies, and at once, and they called Wayne Rooney white Pele. In Uganda, it is the opposite; here we dishearten our own players.
What did you learn from the 2013 AFCON campaign?
Experience and it is the best an athlete can get in a big competition like that. Now I am a mature player who can match any opponent with no much difficulty, let it be a skilled one or a speedy player.
However, the best lesson I learnt was we Ugandans should learn how to deal with pressure, the time we will learn to absorb pressure, we will qualify. Both players and fans need to be strong before, during and after matches. I can say we lost to Zambia, Kenya and the rest in recent campaigns.
On Zambia, after the African champions were trailing one penalty behind, they kept on singing and dancing yet for us, we even failed to hold one another.
What about your fitness though? How do you keep the engine going?
Football is my books and I have to do whatever it takes to succeed in everything via that course. Therefore, when it comes to training, I train my heart out!
Is KCC’s Joseph Ochaya a threat to your position? Football aside, are you friends?
I only think about the game not team-mates contesting for the same number. While with the team, I do think of myself.
However on the friends’ question, yes we are, we chat, I have nothing against him, and I strongly know that it is the same on his side!
Nevertheless, he is a talented player.
While playing at the back, watching teammates miss chances, do you get thoughts like “I could have scored that,”?
It is common to criticize fellow players when they blunder. This is more when you are not on the pitch. In addition, my worst experience was on the Kenya game, Mike Mutyaba got the best chance of the game but got heavy legs and failed to score.
That chance he got will always remain vivid in my memory!
How do you feel about marking the likes of Felix Katongo, Papis Cisse and the rest?
At first, you lose the confidence but with a few minutes in the game, you start feeling your legs back. On my side, it was only at the Senegal match and it was because they have a rich squad.
In all the games I have played, Senegal is the only team I wanted to exchange a shirt, but you know what stopped me, our rules on shirts.
How does a player improve? Is it about winning many games, playing many games, if not one of those then what?
It is a hard question and I do not think you will get anyone on earth who will give you a single answer. However, on my side, I think it is up to a player to decide whether to become a better player or the opposite.
Therefore, it’s all about the efforts you put-in at the end of the day!