THERE is a famous saying that turning a football institution around is often a marathon. However, for the newly-appointed Uganda Cranes head coach Robert Williamson, transforming the Cranes into a successful project will be nothing short of a sprint.
World/Nations Cup qualifier
Niger v Uganda
THERE is a famous saying that turning a football institution around is often a marathon.
However, for the newly-appointed Uganda Cranes head coach Robert Williamson, transforming the Cranes into a successful project will be nothing short of a sprint.
The task at hand for the Scotsman is to plunder maximum points in the forthcoming World/Nations Cup qualifiers against Niger and Benin, and this in a space of two months having negotiated a result-oriented contract with soccer governing body FUFA.
Williamson, 47, though sounded confident and is already looking forward â€œto a fantastic challengeâ€ of completing an assignment his predecessor Laszlo Csaba left incomplete last month.
â€œItâ€™s a huge challenge but it is one that I relish. A lot is expected of me. There is huge pressure but that is something I am used to working through,â€ Williamson pointed out during his first press conference at the FUFA House in Mengo.
The Scottish Cup and League Cup winner with Kilmarnock and Hibernian respectively replaces Csaba who moved to Scottish Premier League side Hearts in June.
Williamson, who relishes the 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1 formations depending on the opposition, confessed not being knowledgeable about Ugandan football but could benefit from the briefing he had with Csaba last month.
â€œI talked with him (Csaba) and we discussed a lot about the players and the football here. I will give my best. I will work as hard as I can right from the grassroots of the game,â€ he added.
FUFA boss Lawrence Mulindwa divulged that Williamson had beaten a pool of 57 applicants.
â€œHe is an instructor with a UEFA license and several other qualifications,â€ Mulindwa said.
The new coachâ€™s job description includes identifying and developing talent, assisting in the establishment of youth structures and ensuring constant training of local coaches.
His job contract details like remuneration were kept confidential.
Williamson lost his job at Chester in March this year after winning once in 14 matches. He will conduct his first session with the Cranes next Monday.
Ugandaâ€™s enduring love affair with the World Cup and African Cup of Nations has been a roller-coaster of pure agony since 1978, with the intervening years authoring a series of near-misses and abject failures.
The ambitions have since grown more modest over each ill-fated campaign though right now, a win over Niger and Benin and subsequent qualification to the final group stages will be a substantial achievement.
Cranes coaches since 1996
Asuman Lubowa 1996/98
Harrison Okagbue 2000/02
Paul Hasule 2002/03
Pedro Pasculli 2003
Mike Mutebi 2003/04
Mohammad Abbas 2004/06
Tomislav Sivic 2006
Laszlo Csaba 2006/08
Williamson's previous clubs
Cranes get new tactician