A few weeks back, Uganda Cranes defender Henry Kalungi, 25, retired from Cecafa engagements. Julius Senyimba found out why he made the decision with only two titles on his back.
Why did you retire form CECAFA at this tender age?
I just want to give the young players a chance because we have a lot of talent in the country. But I will speak to the coach and the technical team because they are planning what’s best for the country not me as an individual. So we shall see what the coach thinks and we see.
How was your partnership with Isaac Isinde in CECAFA?
It was great because we had good chemistry. We covered each other very well and that is why we had a good tournament. We communicate very well. When one of us makes a mistake, we go about it very professionally without exposing each other or making funny gestures on the field to show the fans that one made a mistake. I think that is one of the reasons why we conceded only one goal.
You do not believe in off-side traps why?
Because the referees might not see it and then end up costing the team. Especially in Africa, referees can do a lot of things for home teams. Some games we have played away, we conceded some offside goals and since then I decided to play without relying on them. That is why I do not play offside traps.
How is soccer in America?
Soccer in America is developing so fast. It’s a very fast and physical kind of a game; good facilities that help players develop into very good professionals. America is blessed with great facilities. Each player has a locker; after training you just leave your gear and the next day, you find it all clean. So there is someone responsible for everything which makes life and playing easy. The fans are very passionate and will always support till the end.
Why is Richmond soccer club not releasing you?
I have been with the set up for a while and they feel when I leave it might affect the club since I am currently captaining the side despite not being there.
Are there clubs that are interested in your signature?
Yeah currently we have a lot of big clubs here in America and Europe. So God willing we shall see the best option and see how I benefit because I want to keep developing as a player. It has to be the best move for my career. However, on the clubs, I cannot mention them now but will do so when the time is ripe.
What type of food do you normally eat while in America?
I normally eat a lot of pasta, rice chicken and anything that is healthy. Although when I am in America, I miss Ugandan dishes especially, matooke, posho and goat meat.