By Fred Kaweesi in Guinea Bissau
IN the run up to Saturdayâ€™s Nations Cup qualifier against Guinea Bissau, Cranes players spent most of their leisure times strolling through the streets of Senegal and Bissau â€˜windowâ€™ shopping.
In the aftermath of the teamâ€™s 1-0 historic win over the West Africans in the Group J tie, the same 18 players were not â€˜windowâ€™ shopping but just about buying everything of pleasure â€“â€“ from glamorous jewelry to expensive watches in duty free shops.
And who wouldnâ€™t after receiving $1500 each which comes to sh60m as winning bonus.
FUFA President Lawrence Mulindwa felt each of the teamâ€™s members deserved that and much more.
â€œThis is just to appreciate the good work they have done for the country. The win did not come easy at all. They worked so hard and gave it all,â€ FUFA President Lawrence Mulindwa told the team during a cocktail party.
The bonus, handed out cash to every player is the second biggest figure after Mike Ezraâ€™s gave the team sh9m in 2008.
â€œI want to thank the President Yoweri Museveni for enabling the team travel to Guinea Bissau. If it wasnâ€™t for him, we probably would not have achieved this. We hope this is the start of many things to come from all willing sponsors and partners,â€ he added.
â€œThe players have organized to have the team captainâ€™s shirt signed by all and that will be presented to the President.â€
FUFA have also decided to offer a Cranes jersey to the players as souvenirs. The team returns today with ten of the 18 players that travelled for the match.
First team stars David Obua, Ibrahim Sekagya, Nestroy Kizito, Tony Mawejje, Vincent Kayizzi, Dennis Onyango, Emma Okwi and Isaac Isinde will return to their respective clubs direct from Dakar and Nairobi.
Strategy pays off
Cranes coach Bobby Williamson will return with the rest after completing theassignment in Guinea Bissau well.
After reviewing Bissauâ€™s previous match against Angola with the rest of the Cranes team the night before, the Scot chose the right formation (4-4-2), selected the right players â€“ Godfrey Walusimbi a surprise inclusion, got the best performance out of them and made tactical adjustments that eventually earned Uganda its first win in West Africa.
Following Kenyaâ€™s 2-1 win over Angola, Cranes need to beat Guinea Bissau in Kampala and overcome Kenya in the final qualifier to seal qualification to their first Nations Cup finals since 1978.
FUFA vowed to ensure the team gets victory when Guinea Bissau play in Kampala.
That will include flying in Sekagya for team bonding and motivation.
He is suspended after earning a second yellow card.