KCCA FC’s title aspirations last season were frustrating enough to the Lugogo faithful but Ashraf Mugume’s fight for a place at the eventual winners, Vipers SC was even worse and humiliating.
The forward could only manage one start in the four games he played at the St. Mary’s the whole season before being released in January.
Recalled, but released after failing to secure a place in the Vipers team – he is devoid of character, one would rush to say.
But what makes Ashraf Mugume a special talent and what are the chances that he will survive Mutebi’s scorch at Lugogo?
Mugume started playing football at Proline Soccer Academy from 2007 to 2008 from where he joined KKL for the different oversees tournaments before returning to play for Friends of Football (FOF) and Sparta.
Mugume first played for Old Kampala SS before joining St. Mary’s Kitende (2014) where he captained the school team to two consecutive Copa Cocacola Post Primary Schools finals and unfortunately lost to Kibuli SS in 2016 and Jinja as in 2017.
From the school set up, Mugume joined the Vipers Junior team where he won the 2018 FUFA Juniors League.
From his background, Mugume is already a proven winner with proven leadership qualities and a strong-willed character. This is what drives a player to fit in Mike Mutebi’s way.
While Mutebi is a proven finisher of budding talent, Mugume is already a jewel that awaits dusting to get the most out of it.
What happened at Vipers SC?
When Mugume graduated to the Vipers senior team from the Junior team, ‘he was not yet good enough’ to fit in that team which competed for the 2018/19 title with KCCA FC. He was loaned out to Police FC under the watchful eye of Abdallah Mubiru.
“Vipers had a big list with a lot of talented players. So they decided to loan some of their promoted players from the junior league to get more playing time somewhere else and I was one of them,” intimated Mugume in an interview with The Touchline Sports.
While at Police FC, Mugume got ‘the more playing time’ that he needed, finding the back of the net three times including the winner against Busoga United, and providing five assists in the 2018/19 season. A good fit for a first-timer. Isn’t it?
He was then recalled by his parent club for the 2019/2020 season but restricted to only one start (against Maroons in Luzira) in the four games that he featured in for the Venoms.
What happened, why did he fall this far behind?
Vipers is a big team he admits,
“Vipers is a big team and at the big teams, there is always a lot of competition.”
Besides the competition at the St. Mary’s, Mugume sustained a serious injury during the 2019/20 preseason training with Vipers and it was ‘a bit hard’ for him to come back into the team.
“I sustained a long term injury that lasted for a period of two months. And during that time, I missed friendlies which were being used to assess the team,” he says.
“I managed to come back but it was a bit hard, it was somehow too late to compete for a place in the team that had already started off well,” he admits.
Mugume was released by Vipers as surplus to requirements halfway the season in January.
But what does Ashraf Mugume add to the Lugogo based side?
Mugume was unveiled by KCCA FC on Sunday via the club TV show on Sanyuka TV after training with Mike Mutebi for at least a few months before the coronavirus crisis brought everything to a standstill.
He joins a team with enormous talent and a fight for playing time is inevitable. Keziron Kizito, Sadam Juma, Muzamir Mutyaba, Julius Poloto, and many other midfielders will not be pushovers.
However, recent comments to ‘cut a few players’ off the team by Mike Mutebi could provide a breather for the 22-year-old.
Let’s say Mutebi ships out Muzamir Mutyaba, Sadam Juma, Jackson Nunda and others like he stated, Mugume will definitely have space to start in that KCCA FC team considering his qualities and abilities.
“He is very technical. He uses the ball well. Good passer with good vision. He makes the game look so simple. He can play as a holding or attacking midfielder,” said Mujib Kasule when asked about KCCA FC’s new signing.
“He will give them exactly what Muzamiru Mutyaba was giving them. Since he is still young, he has more energy and dynamism,” he added.
Mugume’s past tells it all and will surely be a great signing for Mike Mutebi who has always admired the former Venom and when ‘Mike wants’ he gives all the support necessary to have ‘his way work-out’.
Just like he did for Allan Okello, tried for Poloto and all the other young boys he has brought in, the same he will do for Mugume.
If all goes well, Ashraf Mugume is just a crown jewel that awaits dusting to reveal its best glitter.