Uganda Cranes seasoned goalkeeper Denis Onyango has announced his international retirement plans. The 31-year-old announced this on Monday night after he was named the Absa Premiership Goalkeeper of the Season in South Africa for keeping 12 clean sheets in 22 league games, as his team Mamelodi Sundowns clinched the Absa Premiership title.
Onyango revealed that this will most likely be his final chance of playing at an AFCON tournament, as he intends on retiring from international football following the finals in Gabon next year.
“If we qualify, I think I am at the end of my international career because I have been there with the national team for 10 years and I have not achieved anything,” said Onyango
He continued, “This is the opportunity for me to retire from the national team showing something…that I played for the national team and got them to the Nations Cup after 39 years. It is a challenge for me, but I think we can overcome it. The game on Saturday will show if we can qualify or not.”
Onyango believes it’s time for the young goalies to take over, “For me it will be my last tournament with the national team because there are a lot of young guys there who still have to prove their point and fight for the national team. I have done my part; I have been there…even though we haven’t qualified.
“They can take the team to the next level, maybe I might not be the one to take the team to the next level, and maybe I am. For me I think it will be my last tournament to play in and then give a chance to the youngsters.”
He however, responded to the fans expectation saying:
“Obviously they [the Uganda fans] are aiming high because they see we have a chance this time, they see it is a weak group, but there is no weak group in football,” said Onyango.
Onyango also urged his fellow team mates to stay focused
“We just have to stay focused; there is no easier chance than this. We are top of the log, tied with Burkina Faso with two games to go.
“We can pull it off; the guys must just stay focused and win the game in Botswana.
Zimbabwe 2-0 Uganda Cranes
AFCON qualifier 4th June 2016
Botswana vs Uganda Cranes (5PM)
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