George Nsimbe Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDE

Express FC technical director George “Best” Nsimbe has revealed that he personally believed that he would help the Red Eagles survive relegation.

[/media-credit] George Nsimbe shouts instructions during a league game for Express at Muteesa II Wankulukuku Stadium Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDE

In an exclusive interview with Kawowo Sports, the soft-spoken former Uganda Cranes international revealed that his personal belief was translated to the playing staff;

When I joined Express FC to work with the technical team, I found the club in a very difficult moment. Personally, deep in my heart, I believed that we could overcome the situation. All I had to do was to assess the situation and talk to everyone that we could do it.

Nsimbe was recruited by the Express management as he joined head coach Shafik Bisaso at a time the ship at Wankulukuku was steadily sinking.

A warm welcome when the Red Eagles humbled Soana 4-0 at Mutesa II Wankulukuku officially ushered in Nsimbe.

However, the club continued to register inconsistent results, attaining one of their heaviest losses when they fell 5-0 at the St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende against champions Vipers Sports Club.

[/media-credit] Gloomy Express Football Club fans at St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende when they were mauled 5-0 by Vipers Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE
[/media-credit] Very happy Express FC fans after surviving relegation Credit: © Kawowo Sports | DAVID ISABIRYE

Belief and hard-work:

Regardless of the hard conditions we faced at the club, there were two constants – working hard and belief.

Nsimbe attests;

We continued with daily sessions and all of us – coaches, officials and players remained focused. Express is a big brand. We could not fail to salvage such a great brand.

Ssimbwa inspiration:

The former KCCA and Vipers coach also hinted on inspiration from former teammate and personal friend, Sam Ssimbwa who also saved Express from relegation in 2007.

I also thought, if Sam Ssimbwa did it, I would also do it. Ssimbwa saved Express and it was my turn to save Express.

In a special way, he lauds the collective responsibility from the club management, fellow coaches, most importantly the players, fans and the media who, in one way or another, pushed up the club to perform as expected as survive going to the FUFA Big League.

Nsimbe’s tenure at Express expired unless the two parties (club management and the coach) meet again for fresh negotiations.

[/media-credit] Michael Birungi (right) was among the top performers for Express in the challenging season Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDE
[/media-credit] Express players laud David Ndihabwe after a hard fought 2-1 home victory against Mbarara City Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE
[/media-credit] Alfred Leku will remain inscripted in the history books at Wankulukuku for that life saving goal on the last day of the season Credit: © Kawowo Sports/ JOHN BATANUDDE

Gangly striker Alfred Leku, on loan from Express, having played the first round at Onduparaka FC, scored the priceless goal against Masavu on the last day of the season to save Express from the jaws of eminent relegation.

Now that the league is done and dusted, the Red Eagles back room staff will resort to the famous drawing board strategy and plan afresh for the time Uganda Premier League winners ahead of the 2018/19 season.

The planning of luring sponsorship, player and staff recruitment, ensuring stable administration at Express takes immediate effect according to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Hamza Jjunju.

We ought to plan afresh and the planning process starts immediately from all departments – technical, playing and administration. We are analysing reports from all the departments for the whole of June. In July, we shall re-assemble once again. The whole initiative is for the club to gain stability once again.

[/media-credit] Express FC CEO, Hamza Jjunju who replaced Muzafaru Ssebagala Credit: D.Nsubuga

Express FC thus ended the season with 31 points in 13th place, above Masavu, Proline and UPDF who were all relegated.

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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