Michael Kagiri holds firm grip of the ball at the AbaBet Green Light Stadium in Arua

Onduparaka Football Club goalkeeper Michael Kagiri believes that the learning curve at the West Nile based entity has been progressive.

Kagiri joined the Caterpillars at the advent of the 2020 – 2021 season from Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) after a brief stint since joining from Buganda regional side Kajjansi United.

He played 17 matches in all competitions (StarTimes Uganda Premier League and the Stanbic Uganda Cup).

The 15 matches came in the league the 2 games were in the FA Cup. In all, Kagiri kept 5 clean sheets.

It has been a great progress at Onduparaka Football Club where I learnt a lot of things and played gallantly for the team

Michael Kagiri, Goalkeeper Onduparaka FC
Michael Kagiri prays before a competitive match

He cites the assistance of Joel Jangeyambe, his old friend right from St Julian High School – Gayaza and Wasswa Shaban for quick acclimatization in Arua city.

“Joel (Jangeyambe) and Shaban (Wasswa) are some of those personalities who helped me settle down amicably at Onduparaka Football Club. I was very focused during training and I always worked hard to be part of the team” he recalled.

Slow adjustment:

Arriving from a well facilitated club as URA, Kagiri did not find life a mere walk in the park at Onduparaka.

To be sincere, I struggled at first. Everything was different at Onduparaka from the step up at URA, my former club. Payments were not as prompt as at URA but I got used to the situation. The long journeys also affected me at first because I was not used to them but as time went by, I adopted to the situation.

Michael Kagiri, Goalkeeper Onduparaka FC
Michael Kagiri with a thumbs up gesture

Playing a marathon of games in a congested fixture worried Kagiri and he admits, it affected their performance in a way or another.

“The games were too close like two games in a week. This greatly affected our performance because we were not resting enough. At many times, we could travel back immediately after the away games. This was too challenging” he adds.

Michael in a training session with Onduparaka
Michael Kagiri leads the teammates before a match at the AbaBet GreenLight Stadium in Arua

Kagiri features in 17 matches in total (15 in top flight and 2 in the Stanbic Uganda Cup) with five clean sheets.

He rates the match against KCCA (in Arua) as one of those matches among his best in the season since he had missed 8 matches prior to the duel.

Michael Kagiri is a ball playing goalkeeper
Michael Kagiri with a coach from the dressing rooms

His second best match of the season was the victory against Sports Club Villa since it saved them to dipping into the relegation zone.

As the 2021-2022 season knocks to the doors, Kagiri is more than prepared to deliver to the best of his expectations.

Onduparaka team before a home match. Michael Kagiri is third from left on front row

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

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