URA defender Najib Fesali is elated upon his maiden national team call up as Uganda Cranes head coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic named him in his final 25-man squad to face Rwanda in a World Cup qualification double-header within the next ten days.

Speaking to our media team, Fesali could not hide his excitement as he expressed: “I’ve always had dreams of representing my country, I just never knew when it would happen, and now it has come to pass, and I’m ready to impress with every chance I’ll get.”

“It’s my first time to be called to the national team, and to make it to the final squad is a feeling I can’t exactly explain well at the moment, but I’m so delighted, I feel so happy to represent my country.”

Fesali was full of praise for his URA teammates who he said helped him alot to get where he is now.

He said, “I attribute this to the collective effort of my teammates at URA who have helped me a lot. Without them, I wouldn’t have made it this far. I realise their importance to my development, and I want to thank them for helping me improve.”

Fesali further noted that the loan move to Gaddafi helped him improve immensely. He was sent to Jinja on loan by the Tax Collectors on 27th September 2020, where he went on to help the Soldier Boys to their first-ever Uganda Premier League (UPL) qualification.

“At Gaddafi, I had a good season to prepare physically and mentally for the greater challenges ahead and when I returned to URA, I was even a better version of myself so once the national team duties came calling, I was ready to take it on, and that’s why I’m here.”

With a one-year contract to complete at URA, the youthful defender, now just 22 was scouted by URA from the Masaza Cup tournament in 2019 where he was recognized as one of the best defenders in the tournament as he turned out for Kyaggwe.

Fesali, also notably remembered for captaining Jinja Secondary School to the Copa Coca Cola triumph in 2017 only made his URA debut last month in the CAF Confederation Cup first preliminary round against Ethiopian Coffee.

At the national team, Fesali is only one of the five Tax Collectors with the national team including club captain Shafik Kagimu, Cromwel Rwothomio, Steven Mukwala and goalkeeper Nafian Alionzi.

Fesali’s ambition as a national team player right now is to help Uganda qualify for the Qatar  2020 World Cup and to also help URA FC win the league.

Yet to make his first URA appearance in the league, Fesali, while back at URA boosts an already strong central defence partnership comprising of Patrick Mbowa, Benjamin Nyakoojo, Katongole Faruku and Hudu Mulikyi.

John Bugembe
October 7, 2021