Many stories are referenced to the old and generation in terms of sports, fashion, entertainment, education, character and style.
The football fans are so fast to make comparisons between what happened then and now. In the 90s and years below, smartness for players was a must implemented by referees. Every player would be required to keep their shirts tucked in at all times during the game.
The trend has since changed and FIFA doesn’t include that among the 17 Laws of the Game. It is not a requirement for players to keep their shirts tucked in during matches.
However there are players world over who have kept the tradition going and made sure that they remain ‘smart’ while on the pitch.
In Cameroon, as the Uganda Cranes continue with their preparations for the Total CHAN Finals 2020, we bring you left back Eric ‘Smart Man’ Ssenjobe who has kept the tradition going of tucking in the shirt during training and competitive matches.
Ssenjobe is a sibling to German based Ugandan musician Fred ‘Toolman’ Kibalama.
‘I respect football so much. It is a job to me and I must be smart all the time. I am not inspired by any one’s smartness while on the pitch but I believe the football pitch is my office and I must give it attention when I get the opportunity to play. Tucking in my shirt gives me all the freedom to be happy at heart even before kick-off’ Ssenjobe told www.fufa.co.ug.
Ssenjobe features for Uganda Premier League side Police FC and he believes his current coach Abdalla Mubiru has played a key role in his development at the Cops.
‘Coach Abdallah signed me from KCCA FC. I was not having playing time. He knew my abilities on the pitch. He has transformed me a lot and helped change my style of play that has come with a lot of improvement’ noted Ssenjobe who grew up in Kyebando before his parents moved to Kiteezi.
Ssenjobe once played in central defence at KCCA FC partnering Timothy Awany. He surely did not enjoy his stay at Lugogo but he is thankful to the coaches led by Mike Mutebi.
‘I was given a great opportunity to play for a big club in Uganda. I thank Coach Mutebi for every chance that he opened up for me to play football while stull at Lugogo. I am now trying out something special at Police FC and Uganda Cranes’ added Ssenjobe. He was at KCCA FC from 2017-2019. Not interesting moments for him but learning process at senior football level.
Before his journey in senior football, Ssenjobe is all praise for his first coach Abdul Darmon Sseruyange who has seen him through two youth set ups at Aspire Academy in Mulago and Terranova in Bunga.
‘Sseruyange knows my journey very well. He took me to Kakungulu Memorial where he was coach of the coach. It is incomplete without the mention of his name. I would be nothing by now in football had he not held my hand when I started playing the beautiful game. I have a lot of respect for him’ said the left back born in a family of 20 children.
Surprisingly he is the only person playing football in a family headed by his father who is a mechanic and his elder brother Toolman now in Europe.
With his mind now set on helping Uganda Cranes get out of the group stages of the CHAN Finals 2020, expect to enjoy many sights of Ssenjobe with his shirt tucked in while on the pitch.
The ball is in his court as he has already convinced Head Coach Johnathan McKinstry by naming him in the final 25 players for the Cranes Squad at the tournament in Cameroon.
‘It is a different ball game in Cameroon. I am learning a lot of new things and helping me to improve. The Head coach demands professionalism from all aspects. It has helped me and my fellow players understand his philosophy about the demands of the team. I am here to make a contribution to the team and also see Cranes get out of the Group stages for the first time’ said Ssenjobe who will be wearing shirt 5 during the tournament.
Quick Fact File about Eric Ssenjobe
Full name: Eric Ssenjobe
DOB: 4th April 1999
Parents: Mr. Sam Kabuuka and Mrs. Grace Kabuuka
Current club: Police FC but played for KCCA FC as well for half a season in 2017
Academies: Aspire Academy in Mulago and Terranova in Bunga.
His idol: Alphonso Davies of Bayern Munich
Schools attended: Praise High School (Mpererrwe, East High Kisaasi and Kakungulu Memorial School-Kibuli)
The final 25 man Squad with clubs and shirt numbers in brackets.
Goalkeepers: Lukwago Charles (KCCA FC, 1), Mutakubwa Joel (Kyetume FC, 18), Alionzi Legason Nafian (URA FC, 19)
Ikara Tom (Police C, 20)
Defenders: Hassan Muhamud (Police FC, 2), Kayondo Abdu Aziizi (Vipers SC, 3), Mujuzi Musitafa (Kyetume FC, 4), Ssenjobe Eric (Police FC, 5), Iguma Denis (KCCA FC, 12), Willa Paul (Vipers SC, 15), Lwaliwa Halid (Vipers SC, 21), Mbowa Paul Patrick (URA FC, 24)
Midfielders: Mawejje Tonny (Police FC, 6), Kagimu Shafik Kuchi (URA FC, 8), Anukani Bright (KCCA FC, 14), Kyeyune Saidi (URA FC, 16), Byaruhanga Bobosi (Vipers SC, 22), Watambala Abdu Karim (Vipers SC, 25)
Forwards: Ojera Joackiam (URA FC, 7), Brian Aheebwa (KCCA FC, 9), Ocen Ben (Police FC, 10), Ssekajugo (Wakiso Giants FC, 11), Orit Ibrahim (Vipers SC, 13), Jagason Muhammad Shaban (Vipers SC, 17), Karisa Milton (Vipers SC, 23)
Uganda’s group stage fixtures at CHAN Finals 2020
|Rwanda vs Uganda 18.1.2021||Stade de la Réunification-Douala||8pm Local Time, 10pm EAT|
|Uganda vs Togo 22.1.2021||Stade de la Réunification Douala||8pm Local Time, 10pm EAT|
|Uganda Vs Morocco 26.1.2021||Stade de la Réunification Douala||8pm Local Time, 10pm EAT|