These past few days have dealt a huge blow to the footballing fraternity in Uganda, from the Crane’s failing to qualify for next year’s AFCON tournament in Cameroon to Uganda’s skipper Denis Onyango retiring from the Uganda Cranes goalkeeping duties. This also saw FUFA president Eng Moses Magogo step down from his role as FUFA president in a major shake up of the football governing body in the country.
Onyango born in 1985 started his professional footballing career at SC Villa from where he went on to play for Ethiopian side St George. His fine saves saw him move to arguably the best African league, the premier league in South Africa. In South Africa, he played for Supersport United, Mpumalanga Black Aces and Bidvest Wits where he was on loan before becoming a regular starter at Mamelodi Sundowns.
It is at Mamelodi that Onyango carved a name for himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the world and at one time the best in Africa. With Mamelodi Onyango won the PSL Goalkeeper of the season award (best player in the South African top division) in the 2015-16 season and kept 14 clean sheets that saw Mamelodi earn a record 71 points in the league.
In January of 2017 Onyango was voted by CAF as the best African player based in Africa in the awards held in Nigeria edging out Zimbabwean and fellow teammate Khama Biliat.
When it came to the national team,the Uganda cranes, Onyango has not short been short of praise as he has been one of our most outstanding players ever since he made his international debut in 2005.
Onyango who was part of the historical Ugandan team that reached the first major AFCON tournament in a period of 40 years conceded two goals in 6 matches enroute to the tourney that was held in Gabon in 2017.
Onyango produced some fine saves while in the tournament that saw the team advance from the group stages in a tournament that contained Africa’s elite teams such as Egypt and DR Congo only to lose out to eventual finalist Senegal.
Onyango’s retirement comes at a time when CAF the football governing body on the African Continent disqualified Malawi from participating in the next edition of the AFCON finals next year in Gabon. In a statement released by CAF on April 1st, it was cited that Malawi fielded uneligible players and the Ugandan federation filed a complaint in the governing body.