The 2022/23 Premier League campaign came to an end over the weekend with Vipers Sports Club retaining the title for only the first time in history.
It was the first time in a long time that three teams were capable of winning the crown on the final day something that was exciting given the campaign wasn’t as eye-catching as the previous in terms of quality especially in terms of goal scoring.
Here is Ismael Kiyonga’s best XI based on individual performance.
Goalkeeper: Simon Tamale (Maroons)
In a season where not so many goalkeepers were consistent, Tamale stood out with superb performances week in, week out.
The former Police and Vipers Goalkeeper kept 12 clean sheets and won his team several points with his match-winning saves throughout the season.
Shocking that his performance hasn’t been rewarded with a national team call up at least for the Cranes Na Mutima campaign.
Right back: Grant Matsiko (Wakiso Giants)
Matsiko has proved his worth by defending astutely and also doing well going forward.
In a league where right backs are rare, he stands out at the expense of Villa’s Oryem Tabu and Vipers’ Asharf Mandela as well as URA’s James Begisa who are the close competitors for the slot in my team.
Left back: Isa Mubiru (Vipers)
Mubiru has proved a fantastic signing with his good shows since he joined the Venoms.
First, he dislodged Disan Galiwango and also filled the void left by Aziz Kayondo with maximum efficiency.
Like Matsiko, he loves going forward although he hasn’t registered as many assists as the Wakiso Giants right back
Centre back: Gift Fred (SC Villa)
The Jogoos skipper rarely put a foot wrong in the entire season and was the foundation upon which the Villa surprised everyone by forcing themselves into the title mix.
Besides, he also scored some crucial goals like the opener in Bombo against UPDF to keep the Jogoos firmly in the race until the final day.
Center back: Hilary Mukundane (Vipers)
In a season where his teammates in the same position Murushid Jjuuko and Livingstone Mulondo suffered injuries, Mukundane stood tall and defended resiliently with whichever partner he was given at the heart of defence.
A colossus and as hard as a rock, the center back also got an important goal away to Wakiso Giants and the point proved precious in the end.
His only undoing are the reckless tackles that could have earned him send-offs in many games but referees somehow never punished him.
Central Midfield: Lawrence Bukenya (Wakiso Giants)
A Rolls Royce in a position many are accustomed to unnecessary tackles.
Bukenya is the link between defence and attack with his ball-holding skills and makes the team fluid.
The former KCCA man is one of the main reasons Wakiso Giants played the most entertaining football in the campaign. Never afraid to hold on to possession even in tight areas and a joy to watch for ones with top football brains.
Central Midfield: Allan Mugalu (Arua Hill)
Another intelligent midfielder that was been pivotal in his team’s performances throughout the campaign.
Mugalu is calm in possession and like Bukenya, he makes the team tick with his ability to carry the ball through the central axis without fear and distributes it with perfection.
Central Attacking Midfield: Allan Okello (KCCA)
By his standards, he hasn’t lit up the league as he was expected when he returned on loan from Algeria but Okello has been decent.
Numbers don’t lie and without his goals and assists, KCCA wouldn’t have been anywhere near the title race.
Right Attacking Forward: Milton Karisa (Vipers)
A hard-working player that rarely gets a bad day but is sometimes just limited by abilities.
What he lacks in skill and talent, he makes up for effort, character and attitude.
Hard to imagine where Vipers would be without his goals and assists in a campaign the forwards at the club didn’t show up.
Left attacking Forward: Rogers Mato (KCCA)
His dip in form coincided with the time KCCA went off the boil and literally lost the title race they had brilliantly led in the first round
Mato has won KCCA so many games with his lethal foot or head by being in the right positions at the right times.
On his brilliant days, KCCA were superb and he carried the team on his back at times in a season many stars at the club didn’t shine consistently.
Central Forward: Charles Bbaale (SC VILLA)
Rarely do players conquer the league in the first season but he did.
Bbaale missed out on the golden boot and league title on the final day but won a lot of hearts and fans with his brilliant left foot that left many defenders and goalkeepers terrified.
There are so many other players that stake claim to feature in my team but positions are only XI.
Express’ Allan Kayiwa and Hussein Ssenoga, Maroons’ Fred Amaku, Vipers’ Siraje Sentamu and SC Villa’s Kenneth Semakula.
Others are Ronald Orombi, Arua Hill’s Innocent Media, Wakiso Giants’ Shariph Kimbowa and departed Ibrahim Kasule, URA’s Ibrahim Dada and Kabon Living, Bright Stars Warren Buule and Andrew Kyambadde etc.
My coach of the season is SC Villa’s Jackson Magera for his magnificent work with the unknowns and will be assisted by Maroons’ Muhammad Ssenfuma and John Ayala Luyinda of Wakiso Giants for their teams played brilliant football.