Following close to four months of the Uganda Premier League, the first round of the elite division of football in the country came to a successful climax on 29th December 2015.
Kawowo Sports’ David Isabirye keenly followed the thrilling first round action that witnessed KCCA F.C lead the 16 team log with 28 points, one better of the reigning champions, Vipers Sports Club.
The best performers; based on consistence, overall team contribution and exemplary performances were;
1 – Mathias Kigonya – GoalKeeper (Bright Stars F.C):
What Kigonya misses by his diminutive stature is easily compensated by the overall alertness, jumping exploits and play sweeping role.
The former Bishop Nankyama Secondary School goalkeeper is part of the reasons why Bright Stars FC is among the clubs that have conceded the least number of goals in the league by the half time mark.
He also boasts of a goal, the only goalkeeper to have scored so far in the 2015/16 season.
2 – Dennis Rukundo – Right Back (Maroons F.C):
Rukundo narrowly edges veteran Ronald Lukungu (Sadolin Paints), Derrick Walulya (BUL), Nicolas Wadada (Vipers) and Dennis Okot (KCCA) for his fear-less mentality.
The lung bursting runs down the right, timely inceptions of the opponents passes and leadership traits elevated Rukundo above the ordinary.
His two goals against Police F.C in Kavumba that forced a 2 all draw will stand out to cap his memorable performance in a Maroons jersey.
3 – Joseph Ochaya – Left Back (KCCA F.C):
Was often used interchangeably at left attack and defensive roles.
Ochaya, though excelled at the latter department. His ability to orchestrate play from defense and make the follow up down the flank was as eye catching as an eagle poaching a fish prey in a deep ocean.
4 – Yusuf Mukisa – Center Half (Vipers S.C):
He was solid through-out the campaign.
Credited for the leadership at the backline even though he played the role with different partners.
The timely interceptions and that occasional accurate long ball out of defence were his key weapons.
5 – Sadat Kyambadde – Center Half (Police F.C):
Kyambadde is a rare breed of the player. Seldom do left footed players make the right partnership of any central defensive role.
His solid consistent displays for team Police F.C have witnessed his side concede 8 goals, one less of the two most defensive sides (Bright Stars and Jinja Municipal Council Hippos football clubs).
6 – Oscar Agaba – Defensive Midfielder (URA F.C):
He easily beats Ivan Ntege (KCCA F.C), Peter Katumba (Sadolin Paints F.C), Deus Bukenya (Vipers) and James Kakooza (Bright Stars) for his patience, timely execution of tackles and passing precision.
Agab, given his small size has been a bully target for the lanky players but in most cases, he won the battles.
He has the engine that plays the box to box format of play, typical of all defensive midfielders world over.
7 – Farouk Kawooya – Right Attack (Sports Club Victoria University):
The dread locked winger is fond of quick and accurate dribbling.
He lifted SCVU single handedly at a time when the club desperately needed that odd result.
8 – Farouk Miya – Attacking Midfielder (Vipers Sports Club)
It has been a battle to pick between Muzamir Mutyaba (KCCA F.C), Hood Muliki (Maroons) and Farouk Miya who starts in the attacking midfield role.
Miya takes the nod for his unquestionable work rate, involvement of teammates, leadership traits and the extra eye for the goal than the two aforementioned players.
Miya finished the first round with five goals, two better than Mutyaba and four ahead of Muliki.
9 – Robert Ssentongo (URA F.C):
Currently the league top scorer (on nine goals), the URA F.C pint-sized forward will give his team assured rewards (in terms of goals) on his day.
Bar his suspect disciplinary record, Ssentongo has indeed lived the test of time to prove his worth.
Blessed with quick twists and turns, the diminutive fast paced forward can comfortably shoot with either foot from all distances.
10 – Ceasar Okhuti (Express F.C / KCCA F.C):
He was one of the reasons Express Football club rejuvenated to perform wonders in the opening 10 games of the first round.
Okhuti is fear-less, a diligent player and will prove the assist when called for.
Above all, he loves to score. For the 7 goals scored for Express in the first round, he partners Sentongo and Bankene in three man attack.
11 – Walter Bankene (JMC Hippos F.C):
Bankene is that orthodox forward who loves to orchestrate on the wings in acres and minimal spaces alike.
He will give the defenders no breathing space given his speed and dribbling abilities.
Bankene is a joy to catch in action.
Coaches of the 1st Round: Simon Kirumira (Sadolin Paints F.C) and Fred Kajoba (Bright Stars F.C)
Douglas Kisembo (Police F.C), Ivan Ntege (KCCA F.C), Richard Wandyaka (JMC Hippos F.C), Timothy Musinguzi (Soana F.C), Joseph Nsubuga (Bright Stars), Geofrey Sserunkuma (Lweza), Dan Birikwarira (Vipers S.C), Muzamiru Mutyaba (KCCA F.C), Hood Mulikyi (Maroons F.C), Farouk Musisi (Lweza F.C)