After Desabre: Can Uganda look at home talent
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After Desabre: Can Uganda look at home talent

Born on 2 August 1976 in Valence, France, Sébastien Serge Louis Desabre, who was the Head Coach of the Uganda National Football Team, the Cranes, was on Monday unveiled as the new Head Coach/ Manager of Egyptian Premier League Club Pyramids FC.

Desabre, who was recruited on 28 December 2017 had spent barely two years on the Ugandan job. On July 7, 2019, he agreed mutually with the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) to terminate his 3-year contract. It meant that he will have to compensate the federation with $100,000 for damages as it was agreed upon in his contract.

After Desabre’s departure, who was affectionately nicknamed The Florist, while still playing active football, many thoughts have come to peoples’ mind whether a locally born Ugandan coach can replace Desabre.

We look at a few local options that we think can replace Desabre, if FUFA decides to think local.

Ibrahim Ssekagya

Born in Kawempe Kampala, Ibrahim Ssekagya is the Assistant Head Coach of USA based New York Red Bulls II. As a boy, Sekagya started out his career playing on a bare surfaced pitch at Kawempe commonly known as ‘kataka’ before joining State House and later local giants Kampala City Council FC (KCC FC).

He started his senior playing career with Kampala City Council in 1992, before moving to Argentina in 1998 to try to make a career in football. His first Argentine club was Atlético de Rafaela in the Primera B Nacional. He currently has 4-year coaching experience having joined New York Red Bulls II in 2015.

Jackson Mayanja Mia Mia

He has applied to become Uganda Cranes Head Coach more than any interested candidate. Born on July 27, 1969, in Mukono and raised in Nsambya Police Barracks, Jackson Mayanja Mia Mia is the current Head Coach of newly promoted Startimes Uganda Premier League side Kyetume FC. However, he has been Head Coach at a number of local and regional clubs including Uganda Revenue Authority, Kiyovu Sport Rwanda, Kampala City Council and Kagera FC.

Mike Hilary Mutebi

He was once Uganda Cranes Head Coach in 2004. Mutebi, who is currently the Head Coach of Kampala Capital City Authority FC, was on the bench as Uganda Cranes inflicted their first ever win over Democratic Republic of Congo in 2004. He has also coached SC Villa and Maroons FC.

Matia Lule

He has been Coach Sebastien Desabre’s assistant since he signed his 3-year contract on 28 December 2017. Lule has also coached Uganda’s Under 20 side the Hippos, Express FC, Tanzania based club Stand United, Entebbe Young and a number of other local clubs.

Moses Basena

He took up the role of Uganda Cranes Head Coach together with Coach Fred Kajoba after the sudden departure of Serbian Coach Milutin Sredojevic. Basena was in charge of several Uganda Cranes matches including a famous 1-0 win over the Pharaohs’ of Egypt before he was replaced with Sebastien Desabre. He has also coached a number of local clubs in Uganda including SC Villa, UPDF, URA etc.

Abdullah Mubiru

Abdullah Mubiru is currently the Head Coach of Startimes Uganda Premier League side Police FC. He was recently tasked with the role of steering Uganda Cranes locally based players team at the COSAFA tournament where he lost all the two matches he played on penalties to Lesotho and South Africa.

Patrick Kabuye

He has been for years longing to become Uganda Cranes Head Coach. Whenever the job falls vacant, Kabuye has been applying to take on the role. The United States-based Football Coach Kabuye holds a UEFA Grade A coaching license. He holds US Soccer Federation Level A coaching license besides several other coaching qualifications.

Sam Ssimbwa

He has coached many teams than any of the above mentioned local coaches, hence making him the most experienced. Ssimbwa started his coaching career in 1998 with Health FC, Mbale Heroes FC (1999-2000), Masaka LC FC (2001), Military Police FC (2002), KCCA FC (thrice 2002, 2009 and 2015), Top TV FC (2003-2004), Rwandan ATRACO FC (2006), Express FC (2007), Simba SC (2008) and Kenyan Sofapaka FC (2009-2010).

In November until December 2012, he coached the Somalia national football team. Previously he was a head coach of the SC Victoria University. Later he coached the Express F.C. and Rwandan Police FC. On 1 October 2014, SC Villa appointed Ssimbwa as a coach. He is currently the head coach of Uganda Revenue Authority whom he helped to finish 3rd last season.

Sam Timbe

Sam Timbe is an experienced Coach holding a CAF A license. He has coached Police FC, Sofapaka and Tusker FC in Kenya.

Big hole to fill

However, truth to be said, Desabre leaves a big hole in Uganda Cranes coaching role, especially having gained the trust of many Ugandans with his attacking style of football.

Desabre has past coaching assignments include ESC Rocheville in France, ASEC Mimosas in Ivory Coast, Coton Sport FC de Garoua in Cameroon and Espérance Sportive de Tunis in Tunisia.

He was also the head coach of Ismaily SC in the Egyptian Premier League. He has also coached Clube Recreativo Desportivo Libolo in Angola, Dubai Club in the United Arab Emirates, JS Saoura in Algeria and Wydad Athletic Club in Morocco.

In December 2017, prior to the January–February 2018 African Nations Championship competition, he signed a multiple-year contract with the Federation of Uganda Football Associations at a gross monthly salary of US$25,000.

Desabre replaced Milutin Sredojevic (‘Micho’), from Serbia, who left in July 2017 to become coach of the Orlando Pirates in South Africa.

On 17 November 2018, Desabre’s Cranes qualified for the 2019 African Cup of Nations after defeating Cape Verde in Kampala. In November 2018, the Uganda national team was nominated with five others for the CAF Men’s national team of the year award 2018.

The Uganda Cranes qualified for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations football tournament played in Egypt from 21 June until 19 July 2019. The team advanced out of Group A, to the round of 16, in the second position, behind group leader and tournament hosts, Egypt.

However, the team was eliminated after losing 1–0 to Senegal, on 5 July 2019. The following day, in a statement released by FUFA in Kampala, Desabre’s contract with the Cranes was terminated by mutual consent.

On 8 July 2019, Desabre was announced as the new head coach of the Egyptian Premier League club Pyramids FC.


Personal information

Full name            Sébastien Serge Louis Desabre

Date of birth      2 August 1976 (age 42)

Place of birth     Valence, France

Teams managed

Years     Team

2006–2010           ES Le Cannet-Rocheville

2010–2012           ASEC Mimosas

2012–2013           Coton Sport

2013–2014           Espérance

2014       Espérance

2014       Mauritania

2015       Recreativo do Libolo

2015–2016           Dubai CSC

2016       JS Saoura

2016–2017           Wydad AC

2017       Ismaily

2017–2019           Uganda

2019–    Pyramids FC