Daniel NSUBUGA & Sinan RAJUB SENOGA
On Thursday 16th, May 2019, four teams will fight for the only one remaining place to complete the line up for the 2019/20 season of the Star Times Uganda premier league.
UPDF FC and Kyetume from the Elgon group will face off with Kansai Plascon and Dove FC from the Rwenzori group to determine who joins Wakiso Giants and Proline FC who have already made it the promised land.
We assess the strength, experience, form and verve of the four teams to establish who has the more chances of making it up.
Of all the four candidates, only UPDF have been part of the most recent premier league season, they were relegated on the final day of the 2017/18 when they succumbed to a 4-1 onslaught at the hands of eventual winners Vipers SC.
They had a turbulent first season of the 2018/19 big league season having lost a number of key players in Bashir Sekagya, Allan Kizza, Mustapha Kasolo, Sulaiman Majanjalo, Joseph Janjali among others.
The team however woke up at a vital moment after the acquisition of a much proven striker in Alex Kitatta, hence a late surge for a place in the play offs.
Steven Bogere known for coaching fancy football, was in charge of the army side when they succumbed to relegation from the UPL a season ago.
He has enough experience on this stage having guided Victoria University to promotion and also coached at the highest level in the league with SC Villa.
THE KEY PLAYERS:
UPDF retained some of it’s players that featured in the league in 2017-18 such as their long serving captain Denis Sekitoleko, goalkeeper Yiga Joseph, Ronald Owinyi, Johnson Lumansi, Robert Nakyenalire, Sydney Senyonga and Walter Lubankene.
Amos Muwonge and the experienced Alex Kitatta “Benzema” will lead Bogere’s hunt for goals that will help them overcome the opponents.
This will be their second successive time of trying to go up via play offs. Last season they lost on penalties to an Allan Kabonge coached Paidha Black Angels side. That partly explains why they went for his services.
The duo of Jackson Mayanja “Mia Mia” and the self-proclaimed “Messiah” Allan Kabonge Kivewala. It should be remembered that Mayanja led URA-Lyantonde to the super league.
Kabonge has guided Onduparaka, Masavu FC and Paidha Black Angels to respective topflight promotion in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
THE KEY PLAYERS:
Kyetume is a blend of experienced and youthful players like Vincent Kayizzi, Owen Kasule, Patrick Ochan,Robert Sentongo, Emma Kalyowa, Benon Tahomera, Phillip Sempiira, Denis Lubowa and Buni Godfrey. They will have to be at their best if the Mukono based club is to secure promotion.
The Masindi based club were the most unlikely of all the four to seal a place in the playoffs, they are here at the expense of the more daring Kiboga Young and Kitara FC who snored towards the end.
They also managed to successfully overcome a petition lodged by their opponents Kitara allegedly fielding an ineligible Delphine Losambo in the first round.
Mark Twinamatsiko guided The Saints to a topflight promotion in 2015. He previously coached at Kirinya Jinja SSS before guiding Kira United to an unsuccessful play off appearance in 2017.
THE KEY PLAYERS:
Robert Baluku, Johnson Tusubira, Ronald Kyamanywa and Brian Mayanya Muruli.
They will miss their top scorer Bright Haguma who was sent off in the end of regular season encounter at Kansai Plascon in Mukono.
Dove FC vs Kyetume FC, kick off 1:00 pm
Kansai Plascon vs UPDF FC , kick off 4:00pm