Unlike last season when the title race went down to the wire, the 2018/19 championship was decided with two games to go but literally way before that.
It has been a season where not even the champions stood out shoulders above the rest and save for Police FC midfielder Juma Balinya, there haven’t been many consistent performers.
In that regard, it’s tough to pick the best XI of the campaign but of course, I will give my opinion.
The actual team of the season will be announced at the UPL awards (if they are held anyway) but surely will at the annual Fufa Awards, though judging by the campaign, it will be spread across many teams.
In a 4-2-3-1 formation, here is my team of the season and the players that deserve worthy of recognition; call them honourable mentions.
Goalkeeper: James Alitho (URA)
Alitho has been superb since arriving at the club from Vipers and it tells why URA has conceded the least goals.
He has been excellent and surely rejuvenated himself after spending over two seasons on the bench at Kitende. One of the easiest choices in my team.
Right Back: Paul Willa (Police FC)
In a league short of sensational right backs, Willa has been so impressive in both defensively and offensively and improved with a couple of goals including a contender for goal of the season against Paidha.
Left Back: Disan Galiwango (Express FC)
He is into his first season at the club but the young left-back turned left winger by George Ssimwogerere has been one of the shinning lights at Wankulukuku.
He is very promising with the ability to dribble, shoot and also very powerful in tackles but also popped with some goals and assists.
A toss amongst Mustafa Kizza (KCCA) who is played more as a midfielder, Police’s Arafat Galiwango and Bright Stars’ Dan Birikwalira.
Centre Back: Timothy Awany (KCCA)
Will be shocked if he missed on the shortlist for MVP of the season as he has been consistent throughout the season for the champions.
Awany has been commanding at the back and even when KCCA scored loads of goals, the skipper had a lot of duties to accomplish at the back.
Centre Back: Hilary Mukundane (Mbarara City)
He is partly the reason the Ankole Lions have been hard to beat this season. Calm, collected and fantastic game reader and his absence in the last few games explains Mbarara City’s dip in form.
Midfield: Hassan Kalega (Police)
Squeezes out URA’s Siraje Sentamu for missing many games through injury and KCCA’s Nicholas Kasozi for only getting play time in the second half of the season.
Kalega is small bodied with a big football brain in the holding midfield role with the ability to initiate attacks from deep with his weighted long passes.
Besides, he is a joy to watch when on the ball and the chief conductor in the team.
Midfield: David Bagoole (Kirinya Jinja SS)
Possibly out of position in a more withdrawn role but deserves a place in the team.
With Bagoole’s close control, silky short and long passes and creative contribution this season, not many doubt his suitability for such a daunting task in my eleven.
Wide Right: Paul Mucureezi (Mbarara City)
Many wrote him off when he joined left Mbarara City but they were wrong. Mucureezi has carried the team with over seven goals and more than ten assists to his name.
It’s no coincidence that Mbarara City’s abysmal performances in recent outings came at a time he has been out injured.
Wide Left: Joel Madondo (Kirinya Jinja SS)
The forward has scored 46% of Kirinya Jinja SS goals but that’s not the most important thing.
Madondo has tormented defences with his pace, quick feet and also scores with his head.
I can imagine his goal tally would have been much higher if he didn’t miss a couple of games through injury.
No 10: Juma Balinya (Police)
The easiest choice in the team. There are other candidates for the role in my team like Allan Okello, Muzamiru Mutyaba but Balinya has had a sensational campaign, scoring goals for fun.
He has scored with the right, left and also added goals from free kicks towards the end of the season.
Besides scoring, the attacker has created several chances and is ultimately the league’s MVP regardless of what happens in the next two rounds.
Centre Forward: Mike Mutyaba (KCCA)
Many would have a case for SC Villa’s Bashir Mutanda and Vipers’ Daniel Sserunkuma but I go for Mutyaba simply because his goals won KCCA the title.
Mutyaba reliably puts the ball in the net without much fuss especially given an opportunity to use his gifted right foot and besides just scoring, his have been beautiful goals.
The Best XI: (4:2:3:1)
James Alitho (URA)
Paul Willa (Police FC)
Disan Galiwango (Express FC)
Timothy Awany (KCCA)
Hilary Mukundane (Mbarara City)
Hassan Kalega (Police)
David Bagoole (Kirinya Jinja SS)
Paul Mucureezi (Mbarara City)
Juma Balinya (Police)
Joel Madondo (Kirinya Jinja SS)
Mike Mutyaba (KCCA)
Davis Mutebi (Police FC), Bashir Mutanda (SC Villa), Dan Birikwalira (Bright Stars), Daniel Sserunkuma (Vipers) John Revita (Express FC), Nicholas Kasozi (KCCA), Allan Kyambadde (KCCA), Livingstone Mulondo (Vipers) and Shafik Kagimu (URA)
Coach: Livingstone Mbabazi (Mbarara City)
Assistant coach: Abdallah Mubiru (Police)