By: DANITO NSUBUGA
The current campaign has already brought unprecedented success to KCCA, and more very well could be coming. Crowned Uganda Premier league champions for the 12th time, only short by 4 times to kick record holders Sc Villa Jogoo off their perch. KCCA will play in the CAF confederations cup group stages and the Uganda cup semi finals Cup with the chance to claim a historic double of local trophies.
The success likely will not stop there. With the signing of Saddam Juma from rivals Express, Kcca made a statement of intent and authority that they are building a team brimming with talent and confidence that is not only going to dominate locally but also challenge internationally, they have just won the league for the 4th time in 5 years only Vipers Sc Challenging them since 2012/2013.
A club with financial might, a respectable following and a youth system that is only reminiscent of the old Sc Villa of the early 90s championed by the late Patrick Kawooya who built a team that challenged strongly on the continent, this was characterized by guile, finesse, class and power, they included Paul Hasule, Magid Musisi, Geoffrey Higenyi, William Nkemba, Adam Semugabi, peter Nsaba, Sula Kato, Mike Mukasa, Paul Nkata, Robert Semakula, Steven Mugalu, Iddi Batambuze, Steven Mugalu, Paul Mutakabala and others, these won a host of trophies and played back to back CAF champions league finals.
Villa’s dominance in the early 2000s was characteristic of a flamboyant young team assembled by Edwin Paul Hasule (RIP)
a side that Sredojovic Micho inherited, these included Omwony Posnet, Katerega Godfrey, Timothy Batabaire, Robert Tumusiime, Sula Walusimbi ,Tendwa Vicent, the devastating striking duo of (MU-MU) Hassan Mubiru and Andrew Fimbo Mukasa, Balyejusa Emma, Watson Edgar , Ssozi Phillip, Ismail Kigozi, Kasongo Ekutchu , Sam Mubiru , Nestroy Kizito. Hannington Kalyesubula, Shaban Kisiiga, Okocha Julius, Kabagambe Joseph, Hakim Magumba, Manfred Kizito, Alimansi Kadogo, Alex Isabirye, Hakim Magumba, Dan Obote, Michael Mukiibi and a host of others.
These went on to win the CECAFA Championship of 2003, 2005 (Under Sam Timbe) and were later to be eliminated by As Aviacao of Angola to deny them a chance to enter the group stages of the CAF champions league , that was a very strong and dominant Villa that was properly managed, financed and maintained under the good leadership and tutelage of Franco Mugabe, Kevin Arilo, Haji Omar Mandela, Edward Luyimbaazi Mugalu, Tushar Ruparellia and others.
Even during the turbulent times when the bigwigs had left the Jogoos, their philosophy and culture of building and patient nurturing of talent never deserted them, they groomed a very immensely talented young side under Coach Paul Nkata which almost won the 2008 /2009 League, among others were Emmanuel Okwi, Mike Azira, Tony Ndolo, Joseph Owino, Jeremiah Ssebuyira, Augustine Nsumba, Yusuf Juuko, Steven Bengo Yasin Mugabi, Oscar Kadenge, Godfrey Walusimbi.
KCCA under Raymond Kabugo are using this blue print or even doing it better, Mike Mutebi’s pragmatism and his experienced technical team that includes former player Morley Byekwaso as his assistant Kaddu Badru, Daniel Kiwanuka and Richard Malinga are building a team that is destined to dominate Ugandan football for a long time from now, they have turned Phillip Omondi stadium into a fortress, having only lost 5 points at their home, their youth system is beginning to pay dividends and we have all seen Peter Magambo, Mustafa Kizza, Herbert Achai, Noel Nasasira, Julius Poloto and Allan Okello, the latter having taken his chance with both hands.
These boys blended with the experience of Muzamir Mutyaba, Paul Mucurezi, Captain Denis Okot, defensive kingpin Habib Kavuma, Denis Rukundo, Benjamin Ochan, Paul Musamali, the flamboyant Derrick Nsibambi signed from Kireka United 3 years ago, Isaac Kirabira, Isaac Muleme, mixed experienced players like Geoffrey Sserunkuuma, Robert Ssentongo, Brian Majwega, Tom Masiko Ivan Ntege, Vincent Kayizzi and a host of others.
Whereas other Clubs are busy firing managers at will, Kcca have managed to maintain Mutebi and his team consistently , Express sacked Alex Gitta midway season, URA Fc sacked Kefa Kisaala, Police replaced Sam Timbe with Abdallah Mubiru who had just been sacked by Vipers sports club who also replaced him with Portuguese Miguel Da Costa. Before the league broke off Soana fc were in 4th place and talk of town was, they could challenge for the title under Sam Simbwa, he left them shortly and he was later replaced by George Lutalo from JMC Hippos , Alex Isabirye who had just left Kirinya Jinja s.s is now managing them , one would be hard pressed to tell how the bubble blew up on them, there wouldn’t be any gifts given if one said that Lweza wouldn’t be in this relegation dog fight had they kept hold of Ibrahim Kirya, JMC hippos lost James Odoch who left to assist Kefa Kisaala at URA, Sc Villa have been in a waltz, Eng. Ben Misagga sacked Deo Sserwadda, Shafick Bisaso, and thats how their title challenge disappeared in thin air and Wasswa Bbosa’s future too is as uncertain as where Villa’s next home ground will be.
Today finding team news and match day squads from Sc Villa, Express, Soana, Kirinya, URA, Police Fc, Saints fc, Sadolin paints, Lweza fc and others is as hard as finding the exact birth date of a typical Ugandan footballer, whereas others keep these as secrets KCCA circulate theirs relentlessly across every available media channel almost 24 hours prior to kick off , thanks to their ultra dynamic media personnel Clive Kyazze, Vipers Sc are trying to follow suit with a reliable Website, Communication acts as a link between the management, fans and media its very vital towards the success of the club but most of our clubs neglect this important factor.
If other clubs are to challenge KCCA fc, they need to copy or better what they are doing so perfectly, maintain and organise a good fan base which attracts sponsors, ensure consistency, institute proper youth structures ( already supported by FUFA under the FIFA U17 league initiative ) , institute a proper scouting network and a consistent technical department, maybe this dominance will be put or halted before it gets un containable.
” I really felt at home at Villa. I could die for Villa. But after the treatment I got after the Uganda Cup final in 2015, being told I was surplus to requirement, I felt hurt.” kirabira Isaac.
No awards for guessing who had the last laugh of course ( The former Villa captain is now among the major major cornerstones on which Mike Mutebi is building his empire).