Wrangles, fights and circus in Ugandan football might have taken a little bit of shine off the competitive super league season we are having but keen followers of the game will with out doubt agree with me that this season has not been short on competition and unpredictability.
SC. Villa’s business in the transfer market made the Jogoo diehards feel that this is their season to bring the glory days back. It prompted club president Fred Muwema to boast around that the Jogoos are not only winning it this season but are doing
it playing beautiful football while director of football Joseph Kanaba said they were going to play and win it with swag. You could be a pessimist to dismiss them as they had acquired nine players including last season’s runners up top scorer Wasswa Herman, Cranes international and a rejuvenated Patrick Ssenfunka. As you read this, the Villa Park outfit stands ninth on the 16 team log with 22 points collected under three coaches. Unbelievable!
Then came surprise packages Masaka L.C, Maroons F.C and even Express F.C. Masaka had lost its talisman Wasswa Herman to Villa who had saved them from being relegated last season and many pundits thought it would be a bonus if they survive relegation. However the Buddu based side has defied all odds and stand 6th on the table with 27 points. At one time this season, they were table leaders to the amusement of many. Rashid Kyambadde and captain Ronald Lukungu are the architects behind their rise.
Asaph Mwebaze’s side’s story is almost synonymous with Masaka’s. They spent most of last season in the relegation zone and only a few believed they could be doing the way it is as of now. The prisons side lie 7th with 25 points. To many, they are the team that plays the best soccer in the league. In Abege George, Akena Brian, Mpuga Martin, Maxwell Okello, Peter Otai and Alex Tuliraba, Maroons has some of the league’s technically gifted individuals and their position doesn’t lie.
Express F.C had one of the worst pre seasons in recent years. At one time, they had two teams being trained by different individuals but all belonging to one side. The opposite sections could all argue they have the right Express side. There were no notable signings to boost the squad and no one gave them a chance. However, the Red eagles have surprised even the most optimistic of their fans by punching above their weight. They led the table for the biggest part of the first round of the season surprisingly and credit should go to Coach Ssimbwa Sam and his troops Lutimba Yayo, Jjuuko Yusuf (now at KCC), Kavuma Willy, custodian Salim Jamal, Luzige Edgar (currently at Bunamwaya) and player of the season so far Baingana Bonny. Though currently lying 3rd on the table, finishing in the top four will offer something to cheer at – given the player exodus in mid season.
Express F.C despite performing better in the first round seem to be losing ground in the title race and the current player strike are hitting hard on them as witnessed at Bombo last Friday unlike fellow contenders URA F.C and Bunamwaya SC and in my opinion, one of the two is destined for the champagne come end of the season .
Bunamwaya SC currently lie 2nd on the table on 33 points four behind table leaders and defending champions URA F.C albeit having played a game more. The Buikwe based side has netted an amazing 10 goals in the previous three games conceding one in the process. The return of Ceaser Okhuti (3 goals in 3 games) has helped add more fire power to Richard Wasswa and Golola Edward’s lethal striking line that comprises of Tony Odur, Muwanga Martin and new acquisitions Luzige Edgar ( from Express) and Kalyowa Emma ( from Villa). In addition, Luwagga Kizito is playing his best game at the moment and terrorizes full backs whether left or right. In Wadada Nicholas, the team has the best right back in the league. He plays as though his life depends on winning. In pursuit of URA, the team acquired the services of midfieder Hakim Ssekumba and winger Sserunkuma Simon in January and they are all doing wonders. The team’s only weak point is the central defense pairing of Edward Ssali and Sseku Robert and if opponents can exploit that, then their title credentials will be dented.
URA F.C do not play the best game but genuinely lead the table on 37 points albeit playing a game less than second placed Bunamwaya. The tax collectors have scored eight goals in their recent two encounters in which Fire Masters and Bidco F.C were the causalities conceding four each. Robert Ssentogo who leads the top scorers’ charts with 12 goals is the key man for the Lugazi based side. Despite losing Steven Bengo to Villa in mid season, Alex Isabirye’s side still look a safe bet to defend their crown. Said Kyeyune (acquired from Maroons) has filled the Bengo void well. With Simon Masaba, Sam Mubiru, Hamis Kitagenda, Robert Ssentongo, Kayizzi vicent, Oscar Agaba, Nsumba Augustine and captain Manko Kaweesa, the team has advantage over Bunamwaya experience wise. They have been there and done it before and therefore have the ability to hold on despite the challenges. However, a hungry Bunamwaya side which improve game after game should not be taken for granted and if they can the avenge the 2-1 loss at the hands of the champions in the first round when the two sides meet at Buikwe in the second fixture, then the tide will have to change. Its either URA F.C or Bunamwaya in my opinion. Who do you think will win the league? Over to you.