The goalkeeping department in a football game is very crucial during the entire duration of the match.
Besides the obvious task of preventing the ball from going beyond the goal-line, goalkeepers provide the basis of the team, offer key leadership and a football game can virtually never commence minus a goalkeeper.
Because of the enviable sensitivity of the department and fear to concede as a team, the rest of the outfield players often work tireless in unison to provide the shield to the goalkeepers.
Upon that rich background, the good goalkeepers are not only the best personalities who thwart one against one incidents, tame crosses and stop penalty shots, but also that cluster that easily read the game to mitigate the damage that would have been done without goal defensive organization.
As the 2019 FUFA Drum (Inter-Provinces) tournament takes a final bend in the Northern Uganda districts of Gulu and Lira, Kawowo Sports’ David Isabirye takes a critical insight at the respective goalkeeping departments for each of the eight provinces.
Edward Kasibante (Bugisu):
For starters, Edward Kasibante is a former Uganda U-17 goalkeeper and has since come of age.
The Kataka Football Club goalkeeper has matured with decision making, quick reflexes and timely stops.
In the three quarterfinal matches that Bugisu has played against Lango, West Nile and Busoga, goalkeeper Kasibante conceded four goals.
Bugisu lost 1-0 to Lango, recovered to beat West Nile 1-0 and won 4-3 over Busoga in the Eastern region derby at Pece War Memorial Stadium, Gulu.
He remains one of the main reasons why Bugisu progressed as the top team in Group A, awaiting the semifinals on Saturday and Sunday.
He remains a key pillar for Bugisu Province with his time to time instructions as he ably commands the team from the backline.
Kasibante’s Bugisu will come under close scrutiny against either Bukedi, Acholi or Tooro in the semifinals.
Hannington Ssebwalunyo (Buganda)
The Maroons Football Club shot-stopper has been a complete shadow of the steady fast goalie he has been known to be.
Conceding four soft goals against Bukedi and a Tito Okello contentious penalty to Acholi in the opening game, Ssebwalunyo and the entire Buganda team looked suspect.
The Buganda team captain’s grey areas as a goalkeeper were exposed to the brim, conceding from an acute angle from close range inside the goal area to Ibra Nsimbe in one of the goals against Bukedi.
However, Ssebwalunyo has shown great improvement with the command of the team as the overall team leader and excelled with the aerial challenges.
His understudy, Nicholas Ssebwato of Bright Stars Football Club is equally an experienced lad.
Ssebwato kept a clean sheet in the game against Tooro which Buganda won 1-0 courtesy of Paul Ssekulima’s strike.
Derrick Ochan (Ocholi):
Taking a close scrutiny about the evolution of Derrick Ochan’s persona as a goalkeeper and sportsman, in general, can be boldly traced as though the creation story well narrated in the Holy Book, the Bible.
Right from the word go, one thing led to the other in the famous creation chronology.
Ochan has greatly improved from the times as a teen at St Mary’s SS Kitende through to the Vipers team.
At Acholi, he is a key member of the team alongside his understudy, Emmanuel Rubangakene.
Ochan’s ability to shout his lungs out as he conveys countless instructions elevates him above the ordinary.
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Of course, you cannot take away the abilities to tame one against one incidents with the potential to thwart aerial balls thrown in thy midst.
Lucky that his coach at Vipers, Moses “Ugoboss” Oloya is the same coach handling him at the Acholi Province team.
Kept a clean sheet against Buganda but conceded at Bukedi when Joseph Ssemujju raced onto Benjamin Nyakoojo’s well-timed delivery to score against him.
Derrick Emukule (Bukedi):
Derrick Emukule is the deputy captain at Bukedi Province to talisman Fredison Gwoto.
Emukule, who is also a goalkeeper at Wakiso Giants remains pertinent of Bukedi’s team.
Outstanding during normal play, Emukule’s biggest weapon as a goalkeeper lies with the big frame to frustrate forwards in one against one moments and from shots – at all ranges.
He conceded during Bukedi’s 2-1 win over Tooro and again conceded two goals when they humbled Buganda 4-2 earning the man of the match award.
Plenty of room for improvement for the young Wakiso Giants goalkeeper especially in communication.
Bukedi’s last game was one all against hosts Acholi. Emukule was rested and in came Patrick Wafula of Admin Football Club.
Wafula was also named man of the match in the game against Acholi.
Douglas Kisembo (Tooro)
Arguably among the most experienced goalkeepers at this stage of the FUFA Drum tournament, Douglas Kisembo has seen it all.
Following a slow start in the 2-1 loss to Bukedi, Kisembo proved self during the one all draw with Acholi.
A team leader, Kisembo ought to polish up the ball handling aspect especially with the high balls played into the area.
The former Police and KCCA goalkeeper is eagerly eyeing the Drum tournament as a springboard to rediscovering the “old” Kisembo in himself who has recently played semi-professional football in Tanzania.
Franco Oringa (Lango)
Franco Oringa is a darling of sorts in Lira with the Lango Province.
He remains heads and shoulders above the rest of the goalkeepers still left in the FUFA Drum championship when it comes to ball playing and engaging the rest of the teammates into play.
Oringa still harbours the cheeky soul just like in the golden days at KCCA, Uganda Revenue Authority and BUL during the hey days of his glittering career.
Kept two clean sheets against Bugisu and Busoga before Lango conceded three goals against West Nile.
Oringa is also good when it comes to command, taming one against one moments, ball handling, reading the crosses although with ability to polish up the movements into the goal area.
Nafian Alionzi Legasson (West Nile):
Personalities and football players per se from the West Nile province proudly “wear” the lion’s heart.
They never pretend or mask because of their aggressive nature.
West Nile’s goalkeeper Nafian Alionzi Legasson is one soul of the many with that lion’s heart.
He is ever active in between the goalposts and commands at all times.
Little wonder, therefore, he is the team captain as well for West Nile Province.
Conceded in all the games played during the quarterfinals held at new Akii Bua Stadium in Lira; during the one all draw against Busoga, the 1-0 loss to Bugisu and their 3-1 comprehensive win against hosts Lango.
Sadly, West Nile bowed out of the competition since Bugisu and Lango finished on six points to make it to the semi-finals.
Alionzi is also a goalkeeper at URA Football Club in the Uganda Premier League.
He is an excellent communications guru, awesome during one against one moments, thwarting shots from near and far with a lot of potential to improve in the air.
Sanon Mulabi (Busoga):
Sanon Mulabi is young, willing to learn and good enough has the height advantage, a key impetus for any goalkeeper.
The BUL Football Club goalkeeper featured in two games for Busoga Province before limping out with a troublesome ankle.
He conceded during the one all draw with West, conceded twice against Lango before he paved way for Michael Nantamu.
In Busoga’s final game against Bugisu during the Eastern region derby at Pece War Memorial Stadium, Gulu, in came a fresh face – Paul Mujampwani.
Busoga conceded 4 goals against rivals Bugisu as Mujampwani took over.
The FUFA Drum tournament was started in 2018 with Buganda emerging as the inaugural champions.
A new champion will await to be named after the elimination of Buganda.
The tournament is associated with big numbers of people since it is richly embedded on culture under the theme “Celebrating Our Ancestry”.
Eagle Poa beer joined Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) and National Insurance Corporation (NIC) as the FUFA Drum sponsors.
The 2019 final will be held on 10th December at a venue yet to be confirmed by the local organizing committee.