As the sixth edition of the African Nations Championship rounded off yesterday, several players have already turned their attention to the next steps of their careers after a very successful competition for some of them.
This week, we round off our series on players who have distinguished themselves at the African Nations Championship and how their performances can earn them big moves.
Saidi Kyeyune, Uganda’s Engine
Uganda may not have gone past the group stages of the competition but their playmaker Saidi Kyeyune seized the occasion to show his talent to the continent and the rest of the world.
The 27-year old was Uganda’s stand out performer at the competition, scoring two goals; against Morocco and an impressive long-range drive against Togo.
These performances immediately caught the attention of scouts and Sudanese side El Merreikh were fast to pounce and snap up the 27-year old from Uganda Revenue Authority (URA FC).
Such has been the importance of the player for club and country that Uganda Revenue Authority (URA FC) head coach Sam Ssimbwa fumed at the sale of the player.
Djigui Diarra, Mali’s Safe Pair Of Hands
Before Sunday’s final, Mali boasted of the best defensive record in the competition with just one goal conceded and that came during the 1-1 draw in the group stages against Cameroon.
That record has been possible thanks to a safe pair of hands between the sticks called Djigui Diarra. The 25-year old Stade Malien goalkeeper further enhanced his reputation as one of Mali’s best with a string of impressive displays at the African Nations Championship.
Before the finals, the goalkeeper had made six key saves and two catches for the Eagles but he doesn’t only end at shot-stopping.
His ability to command his box, coupled with his intelligent foot work which enables Mali to comfortably play out from the back make him a complete package.
With experiences at various levels of Mali’s national football team, Djigui Diarra is now looking to scale to higher heights at club level after putting in a shift at the African Nations Championship.
Haschou Kerrido, Frow PWD Bamenda To The World
Like Mali, Cameroon turned on to their goalkeeper for some inspiration throughout the African Nations Championship.
Though the Intermediate Lions fell apart during at the knock out stages, Haschou Kerrido was one of the key players who propelled the team to their best ever finish at the African Nations Championship.
One of his best matches at the tournament was during the 1-1 draw against Mali in the group stages during which he made key saves to keep his side in the game.
In all, the PWD shot stopper made the most saves in the competition, 15, and is now looking to build on those performances to push on his career. However, critics say he will have to improve on his foot work, ball distribution as well as command his box in order to become the complete goalkeeper able to challenge at elite level.
For the moment, Haschou Kerrido is on course to achieving that and consistency in performances could throw him right in the mix when Indomitable Lions head coach, Toni Conceçaio starts shaping up his squad for the Africa Cup of Nations.