TEAM PREVIEW, ONDUPARAKA: Are the Caterpillars ready to challenge for the tittle?.

By: Gladys Zawedde

Arua based club Onduparaka FC is ready to compete both in the league and Uganda cup having finished 5th in a debut top flight season. Onduparaka joined the top flight last season and put up a remarkable performance in the league despite exiting from the Uganda Cup earlier than expected, losing 2-1 to Sadolin Paints at Namboole on the round of 16.

Located in Ayivu county, Onduparaka is one of the best organized and community based teams to embrace the Uganda Premier League currently and significantly pull large numbers of fans both on away and back home in Arua.

STRENGTH

Onduparaka’s biggest strength is the home advantage, the Betway Greenlight Stadium is stronghold and a bitter ground for the opponents. Onduparaka finished unbeaten at home but also defeated all league giants save for URA who managed a draw. KCCA lost 2-1 SC Villa lost 4-3, Express lost 2-1 and Vipers lost 1-0.

WEAKNESS:

Onduparaka had the second worst defence in the league only better than relegated JMC Hippos. Schoolboy defending and costly goalkeeping errors accounted for the club’s poor performance which also conceded the league’s heaviest defeat of 7-0 to KCCA at Lugogo.

MEN TO WATCH

Muhammad Shaban:

Shaban Mohammad was Onduparaka’s top scorer last season and he is expected to spearhead their challenge this season.

The Cranes striker Shaban is in pole position for this season’s golden boot having finished second last season on 13 goals behind top scorer Geoffrey Sserunkuma. He has committed himself to the club despite being stripped off the armband and linked with a possible exit from Arua to join KCCA or Vipers and clubs abroad. He has also been a trialist at Supersport United.

Toha Rashid:

 

The lanky center back was on target 6 times and emerged the highest scoring defender in the league as well as Onduparaka’s joint second top scorer last season. His physique and leadership are instrumental for the Onduparaka team set up and this clearly explains why he was named the new team captain replacing Shaban Muhammad.

Toha and his predecessor Shaban had a call up for trials in South Africa with Supersport United but returned to the Arua based club. As a skipper, he will be assisted by Gaddafi Gadinho, Andama Denis “Koko” and Alex Adriko Gasper.

Sebwato Nicolas:

He is a new signing from Bright Stars who is expected to rectify Onduparaka’s shortcomings in the goalkeeping department. He brings experience to the club having played for KCCA, SC Villa and Tanzanian side Coastal Union. Last season, he was one of the best performers at Bright Stars scoring 2 goals and helping them survive relegation.

PLAYER TRANSFERS

Onduparaka has been busy in the market since the window opened and among the new faces at the club are Rajab Kakooza and Karim Ndugwa acquired from relegated Lweza and Sadolin Paints respectively. Experienced goalkeeper Sebwato Nicolas has also signed from Bright Stars while Alfred Leku switched from Vipers on a season long loan.

Other signings include Busobozi Allan, Rashid Okocha from Nebbi Central, Ezra Bida from Koboko Raising Stars, Aggrey Kirya from The Saints (UPDF) and Vianey Ssekajugo from JMC Hippos.

RELEASED PLAYERS

The West Nile club released a bunch of players to create room for the new signings and these include; Nisar Kasim, Toko Fahad, Olema Hamza, Chombe Douglas, Babu Idd, Mahad Kiseka, Matua Joshua and defender Kakembo Akram

Onduparaka will still have Livingstone Mbabazi as the head coach while Leo Adraa has been elevated to technical director role. Former KCCA and SCVU Goalkeeping coach Moses Oloya has also returned to the club after a stint in Somalia replacing Eddie Kaweesa.

Official squad and attached shirt numbers.

2. Simba Sabir
3. Aniku Soso
4. Ibrahim Faizul Anini
5. Ajobe Toto Mahdi
6. Kirya Aggrey
7. Gaddafi Gadinho Muhammad
8. Ndugwa Karim
9. Muhammad Shaban
10. Rashid Ayub Agau
11. Gaddafi Wahab
12. Toha Rashid (Captain)
13. Kabon Living
14. Olega Ceaser
15. Okocha Rashid
16. Kakooza Rajab
17. Adriko Alex Gasper
18. Saddam Norman
19. Okwir Dickens
20. Ssekajugo Vianey
21. Bida Ezra Rashid
22. Busobozi Allan
24. Muhammad Rashid
25. Orom Benson
28. Okhuti Ceaser Samson
31. Mboowa Ivan
30. Andama Denis
32. Anyama Richard
33. Gibson Adinho
42. Leku Alfred
48. Ssebwato Nicholas

After setting the bar high up in their maiden season, Onduparaka FC are expected to seriously challenge for the bigger things in the league, they are blessed with an insurmountable fan base, they have added some experience in the squad and also renewed their sponsorship partnership with Betway up to the tune of 600 million. The sky is the limit.

%d bloggers like this:
MelBet