June 26, 2022


A Dynamic look into sports

USA Based Sendi With Burning Desire To Represent his Country, Highlights On the Needs To Play Professional Football.


  • Ian Sendi hoping to play for the Uganda Cranes soon.
  • He has managed Nine years playing professional Football in the USA.
  • Sendi enjoying his honey moon in Uganda, wedded long term lover Sherinah this month
  • Technical Competence, tactical Awareness, Mental Strength, Physical ability, and life style is what is needed to play professional football.


At thirty one years of age, FC Minneapolis player Ian Matovu Sendi, is hopeful he has some time to represent his Country if he is considered for the task.


The midfielder has so far managed nine years playing professional football in the United States of America.


Sendi in FC Minneapolis colours.


The soft spoken attack minded player is one of the few Ugandan Footballers that have managed to consistently play in the United States despite the career threatening motor accident that kept him away from the game for some time.


While Speaking to Sports256 in an exclusive interview at Protea Hotel- Skyz where he is currently enjoying his honey moon, he shared his burning desire to play for the Uganda Cranes.


With the good management of Ronnie Santos Agency, I was in 2016 summoned, but it didnot work out after getting a motor accident when i was driving. I was in good form then and i was every where in America papers, so it was a big set back and had to put aside the national team ambitions.


So in 2018/2019 after recovery from the accident, it’s when i resurrected the ambition, and now i think am ready with the too much experience i have. So if it happens that am thought of, it will be a great opportunity to represent my country.

Sendi also shared with Sports256 the key issues that has enabled him play professional football for all those years, which Ugandan footballers need to put in mind if they are to play professional football or have long stints playing abroad.


The five issues that i want to put across that i hope will help the young players are; first is, technical competence, another is tactical awareness, the third is physical ability, a player has to mind about how and what he uses the body to do, the forth is Mental Strength, because a player may reach a country where he is the only African, but when he has to be brave strive and work.


Last but not least, is Life style, some footballers after getting some money they love that lavish kind of life, spending hugely, they want to be recognised every where, gets many women and others end up in everyday parties, drinking and if you cannot control your money, it can easily separate you from football.


When asked about why many Ugandan footballers have failed to live to many’s expectations at professional level, he pointed at Character.


The Sendi’s caught up at Skyz Hotel.


Character is the most important thing and this has been key to my success, personally, i train alot, i don’t miss training even here at the honey moon, i go to the gym to train. You may be a very good player but then your character fails you to make it. The coach will look at first ‘Are you employable? this has helped me so much as an individual. Everyone would love to work with some one who is professional, friendly, not hostile, i can give examples of Diouf, Balotelli who could even win the Ballon dor but they failed to work on their character. So my advise to the Ugandan young stars, that as they learn the game and work on the five factors, they should work on their character as well. If you are playing for a team when the coach is your friend, obviously he will put you on the pitch.


Sendi got the break through after a succesful Kakungulu Cup (then Bell Uganda Cup) campaign where he was spotted after putting up a pleasing performance.


Playing for a first division club then, his peformance earned him a National (U-21) team call.


This was a big stepping stone, that Alfred Tweneboah picked up interest in him after receiving some of his video clips.


Tweneboah got Sendi as many trials as possible in different European countries, but couldn’t travel to some because of limited resources.


The lucky Ian, moved to USA in 2012 to start his professional career with out playing in Uganda’s top tier and second tier.


It was a tough start for Sendi on arrival in USA as he states;


” It was very tough leaving first division football here trying to get a professional club, when i reached there it was very hard for me, the environment was different, had some fever took me like two weeks to get better, couldn’t kick the ball, by the time i finished treatment, the trials were done. And to make matters worse the sporting director told me that even if i had passed the trials, the international slots were taken up. So they couldnt sign me, so i started moving club to club for trials.


Tweneboah the agent helped Ian get  Dayton Dutch Lions FC trials where he was considered after passing trials with over three hundred players that had turned up.


In shock of passing the trials, i asked the coach why he considered me, he told me he signed because i looked humble and i was willing to learn and be taught more. So you cannot be with a contract and you are not playing and you expect it to be renewed.


Between 2014 and the end of the 2019 season, Sendi had 21 goals and 19 assists in a total of 63 games for FC Minneapolis in all competitions.


Sendi is under Ronnie Santos Sports management and the agency chief Fred Mwine is responsible the players’ football activities.


Though Ian is an Express Football club fan, he didn’t wish to specifically point at clubs he would wish to play for in the StarTimes Uganda Premier league.


On return to the country, Ian and long time lover officially wedded on the 4th December 2021 at Skyz Hotel in Naguru.


Ian and wife at the wedding funtion held on 4th December.


Sendi is born in Kampala surburbs of Lungujja Kitunzi in Rubaga division.


Ian left Uganda in 2012 for his first ever professional trials at Dayton Dutch Lions in Ohio USA Stars FC, then moved to Minnesota and joined Curtes Rouge in 2013 from where he joined FC Minneapolis to date.


Ian is a son to Henry Sendi a resident of Lubowa who is a teacher by professional and the late Betty Zalwango who passed away when he was just nine years.


Sendi who counts himself among the lucky men, has never run out of contract in his playing career and has two years left on his current contract with Minneapolis.


Sharif Diao, Lawrence Nduga, Brian Sentongo are some of the names Ian could easily remember among his former teammates back then.


Ian’s mum was an Express fan and in many cases on his return to the country, he has always been given the opportunity to train at with the Red eagles.


He further revealed, they don’t have biological children yet with the wife Sherinah but have 24 kids they take care of.


Sendi was flanked by wife Sherinah Nattabi Sendi, he wedded five days ago.


Sherinah expressed her joy finally coming to see a dream come to pass Speaking to Sports256.


It is a dream come true finally seeing our wedding happen, we grew up together we met in Lungujja Community Assembly church, Sendi was my Sunday school teacher so we have been serving the lord together as good friends but we started serious dating in 2016. So it has been a long distance relationship until when God has brought us into this holy marriage.


Sendi’s wife speaking to Sports256.com


I am so happy it has been my prayer for long for a holy marriage and i thank God, My husband promised me a wedding and i cant thank him enough for leaving all his work and also picking me amongst all other women to come to make this happen. He made us proud, my family and the church.


I can’t wait for December, my husband is not leaving me behind this time, this will be my first time to fly to America.


Lastly, i want to tell the ladies out there to be patient, pray hard and leave the rest to God


Mrs Sendi is also a born of Lungujja, with three other siblings.



Player Profile

Full Names: Ian Matovu Sendi

Age: 31 years

Current Club: FC Minneapolis, USA

Place of birth: Lungujja Kitunzi, Rubaga division

Marital Status: Married

Nationality: Uganda

Position: Attacking Midfielder

Height: 5’8

Weight: 75

Current League: United Premier Soccer League.