Coach Milutin Micho Sredejovic says that he regrets not to have signed Tonny Mawejje when the Serbian was still a coach of Sports Club Villa.
Micho revealed the developments while giving his fond memories about the Ex Uganda Cranes Midfielder Tonny Mawejje who will be saying goodbye to actively participate in the beautiful game of football as a player.
Two Testimonials have been organised for Mawejje on Wednesday at Lugogo and Friday in Masaka.
Mawejje featured for the national team between 2004-2018 making 84 appearances and scoring 8 goals.
“Tonny Mawejje you have been a soldier in Ugandan football, a tough opponent when I played against you, a reliable player when you played for me and a distinguished gentleman with good leadership skills off the field of play,” Micho said.
“When I was not your coach we remained great friends and as you are going into retirement, may the almighty God guide you wherever you are but keep coming back to save Ugandan football.
“It’s where you have written so many unearthed moments, so come back and serve as a manager (coach) or in whatever capacity you can because we don’t have enough people who understand the game like you do.”
Micho worked with Mawejje for four years on the national team the Uganda Cranes and in that reign, Uganda managed to break the 37-year jinx as they returned to the AFCON tournament.
The Serbian has one biggest regret as he failed to sign Mawejje during his first coaching spell in Uganda as he was at SC Villa while Mawejje featured for Masaka Local Council.
“My first clash with Mawejje was when we (SC Villa) played a friendly with the Uganda U20 side which was then under Timothy Ayeiko, and later we met him at Masaka Local Council under Sam Timbe as the head coach in the semi-finals of the Kakungulu cup in 2002,” Micho remembers.
“We won the trophy after beating Express 2-1 in the final but it was even hard to play Masaka LC in the semi-finals than in the final against Express.
“In the semi-finals, I saw a special player who needed to develop, had good potential in him and I knew sooner or later he was going to prove the point.
“A midfielder that is straight up and could use the ball to score, assist, shoot from distance and also run into the box with the ball and score.
“I wanted to sign him to SC Villa alongside striker Geoffrey Sserunkuma but KCCA FC were faster as they signed both of them.”
Micho has some fond memories for the midfielder and has dubbed him one of the most technically gifted player both on and off the field.
“Mawejje has been a role model and a positive example to the rest of the players both on and off the field doubling as an extended head coach during his time on the pitch. Off the field he was always an assistant coach, practically a leader helping us organise and manage the team.
“There are a few memories from Mawejje that will always stay fresh and forever like his first goal in the Uganda Cranes jersey which he scored in my first competitive match during my return to Uganda against Algeria.”
“Mawejje was so instrumental as we picked a vital away win against Angola in a 3-1 scoring the third goal for Uganda as we sealed a win.”
“He also scored a beautiful goal against Ghana in a 1-1 draw at Babayaro stadium a game which could have ended in our favour at anyday.”
Uganda Cranes Micho will face up with the former Uganda Cranes team of 2017 in Mawejje’s testimonial at Lugogo (Wednesday) and Masaka (Friday).