There are many different paths an athlete can take after concluding their playing career. While some retire and go into business and administration or shut the doors of the sport behind them, others transition into coaching.

In the case of former Uganda Rugby Cranes and Stanbic Bank Black Pirates Rugby Club player Marvin Odongo, it is the latter.

Odongo, who did not officially hang up his boots, has been named head coach of the Black Pirates ahead of the 2022 Nile Special Rugby Premier League.

Marvin Odong | Credit: John Batanudde

He fills the big shoes of Robert Musinguzi who has shifted his focus to the Director Of Rugby role he received at the club’s general assembly and election last year. With an exciting brand of youthful rugby, Musinguzi steered Black Pirates from a relegation battle in 2016 to a season treble in 2018 and restored pride in the club’s fan base.

The transition to full head coach duty will not take long however as Odongo was already part of Musinguzi’s technical support team at the Bweyogerere-based club.

Odongo, speaking to The New Vision earlier this week, said his objective is to win this year’s XV league title. He was captain when Black Pirates lifted their first and only title at the end of the 2017/18 season.

Black Pirates’ transfer business

Black Pirates have made only one signing in this transfer window. Prop Peter Bisaso crosses over from Jinja Hippos in a swap deal that involved loose-forward Isaac Rujumba. Rujumba will be joined by journeyman teammate Michael Amollo who has also departed the Sea Robbers for Hippos.

Three talents have been promoted from the Sailors development outfit. Captain Moses Olweny and Jones Kamiza who showcased brilliantly during the Sevens series, alongside Moses Olupot have made the step upwards.

However, the biggest transfer news, or rather rumour flying around rugby corridors, involving Black Pirates will be that which saw rivals Kobs nearly swoop Kelvin Balagadde.

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

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