Goalie Saidi Keni joins Sports Club Villa from Proline. PHOTO: JOHN BATANUDDE Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

Uganda’s historic and record league champions SC Villa are desperate to fight the looming relegation threat as the second round kicks off at the apex of January 2019.

The Jogoos, 16 time league winners, are set to unveil several key players ahead of the long anticipated second round league kick off.

The players in the box are a pre-requisite reinforcement conducted in the secondary transfer period.

Goalkeeper Saidi Keni has been recruited from second tier FUFA Big League side Proline Football Club.

Tried and tested midfielder Emmanuel Kalyowa is a signing from fellow top flight club, Tooro United.

Left back John Adriko returns to Sports Club Villa after a spell at Kitara FC. PHOTO: DAVID ISABIRYE Credit: © Kawowo Sports | DAVID ISABIRYE

Aggressive left back John Adriko is a returning party to the side from Kitara Football Club, another FUFA Big League club.

King pin defender Asuman Alishe also rejoins the club that he previously served before he left for ‘greener pastures’ at BUL Football Club.

Whilst robust hard tackling midfielder Sulaiman Majaanjalo is also a returning part to the club from lower division side Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF).

All the aforementioned players, apart from Alishe have been training with the club that is currently managed by Douglas Bamweyana and Simon Peter Mugerwa.

Burly defender Alishe whose employment contract with Mbarara City Football Club was not renewed is expected to join the rest of the crop in Monday’s training session at the re-greened Villa Park facility in Nsambya, Kampala.

Asuman Alishe joins Sports Club Villa from Mbarara City (PHOTO: DAVID ISABIRYE)

U-20 goalkeeper Keni will join the goalkeeping department that already has Yusuf Wasswa and Samuel Kivumbi with huge prospects of releasing Brian ‘Ziggi’ Bwete.

Adriko’s return means that the club has three left backs with youngster Derrick Ndahiiro and veteran Habibu Kavuma the other two.

Majaanjalo boosts the central midfield department especially the defensive part when Manco Kaweesa and David Owori featured in the first half of the season.

Alishe is Savio Kabugo’s natural replacement. Kabugo is now at DR Congo side AS Vita while Emmanuel Kalyowa will feel the void left by Joseph Ssemujju who left the club for greener pastures in Botswana.

The Jogoos have had a mediocre performance in the opening stanza of the 2018/19 Uganda Premier League season, managing just 14 points from the 15 games played, sitting 13th on the 16 team log.

The five or so players recruited in the January window are meant to beef up the side that blew cold in the opening round of the 2018/19 season.

If all efforts move as planned, the new recruits will be unveiled officially before the media and the loyal club fans on Tuesday, 29th January 2019 at Villa Park.

Sports Club Villa will face URA in their opening match of second round on 2nd February 2019 at Mandela National Stadium, Namboole.

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

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