Coach-player Katuntu in the training kit Credit: Stingz Official

When Impis Rugby Club was relegated at the end of the 2018/19 season, all hope seemed lost at the historic Makerere-based club. But one gentleman, in addition to putting his body on the line on pitch, decided to take up the role of coach to spearhead the club’s revival. His name is Emmanuel Katuntu.

Two years later, after an unbeaten season in the championship and an upward journey out of the top-flight relegation battle, Katuntu has been entrusted with the full responsibility of not only the rugby club but also the university team.

“Emmanuel Katuntu has officially taken office as the head coach of Uganda Premiership side Makerere Impis, having signed a new long-term contract that will see him double as the gaffer of the university select side, Makerere Rugby,” read a statement from Impis Rugby Club.

Katuntu had already taken charge of Impis for a full season as coach. He did not play in the most recent single-round Nile Special Stout Rugby Premier League season in 2021.

Club captain Muhiire Spencer has said that he believes Katuntu is the right man for the job. He notes that most of the squad have worked with him as a teammate, captain and coach-player.

“Most of the squad have played with the new coach as a teammate, captain and coach-player. We understand him very well and our objectives are aligned. We have won and lost with him and we trust he is the right man for the job,” Muhiire said.

Katuntu has expressed his delight in the new role to serve the club and is optimistic for the success that he has achieved since he volunteered to take the role.

“I am happy to continue my service to the great Impis club and the Makerere Rugby community in this position. I have seen some success as a coach-player and hope that it keeps coming moving forward,” Katuntu said.

There won’t be much time to find the best fit in the seat Katuntu has assumed since he has the Kings of Africa Rugby University championship for the Makerere Rugby and the 2021/22 Uganda Rugby season coming up soon.

Ernest Akorebirungi is an amateur rugby player and a keen follower of local Ugandan rugby.

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