Hudu Mulikyi: Defender comfortably playing in position he feared most

Versatile Huddu Mulikyi has played in many different positions this season but it's at the Center back when he has been more comfortable

To understand what fear stands for, just remember the first moment you were told to do something that you had not done before. That feeling of embarrassment after being told to do something as a must – ever had it before?

Gil Eagles says, “If you want to succeed, you must be willing to feel embarrassed at some point.” and that is what defines URA FC’s defender Hudu Mulikyi.

Many players succeed without being put to test, but when extraordinary moments which test our courage come, some of us never manage to succeed but the other hand some do. The difference lies in managing to overcome that fear or not.

That is exactly what Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) FC defender Hudu Mulikyi endured to become one of the most sought after defenders in the StarTimes Uganda Premier League.

He shed tears the first day he was told to play in central defense, a position he had not played before. He was used to playing in the midfield and other more advanced positions.

‘You must first feel embarrassed to be successful to develop your potential.’ If we think better, it is very true because the first months Mulikyi was played in that new position, he really struggled.

However, by sticking in there, he started finding himself copping easily to the level of displacing competitors. It is an experience that came his way when Sam Ssimbwa was appointed URA FC head coach in 2018.

Born at Ibanda hospital on 25th April, 1997 by the late Wasswa Hakim and Achiro Betty, Hudu  Mulikyi is the second last born in a family of four (two boys and two girls). He was raised in Ibanda but later moved to Kampala in 2003 when his late father, a prison warden then, was transferred to Luzira Prisons.

Mulikyi started his primary level education at Ibanda Parents Primary School in 2002 but Sat for his exams at Luzira’s Manchison Bay Primary School in 2008.

After primary, he joined Lakeside College School, Luzira for his O’ level Education in 2009 on a bursary scheme secured by then Maroons FC coach, Asaph Mwebaze. From Lakeside College, he joined Nakasongola Army SS for his A’ level in 2015, a school he says he moved to as a means to help him fulfill his dream of playing in the Copa Cocacola Post Primary schools competition.

“I went to Nakasongola Army because I had a dream to play in National schools Copa CocaCola competitions and when I got a chance I used it and  fulfilled my dream.” He tells The Touchline Sports before adding “I played in Copa CocaCola tournament that was in Masindi in my senior six.”

Hudu started playing football at an early age as a center forward at a Maroons Soccer Academy (Young Maroons) in 2004, a position he played until joining URA FC in 2016-2017 Uganda Premier League season.

In 2012, he was integrated into Maroons FC senior team by Coach Asaph Mwebaze and was the second top scorer for the 2013/14 FUFA Big league season. He found the back of the net 17 times, just one behind The Saints’ Alex Kitata(18).

He also helped the Luzira based side advance to the Uganda Premier league from the FUFA Big league that season when he scored a lone goal against Saints at StarTimes Stadium, Lugogo in the playoffs.

Hudu Mulikyi’s Maroons FC featured for only 2 seasons (2014-15 and 2015-16) in Uganda’s top tier league before they were relegated back to the FUFA Big league for the 2016-17 season.

Hudu (circled) played for Maroons FC for only 2 seasons before he was signed by URA FC | Courtesy Photo

It was at this moment that he was spotted by Livingstone Mbabazi who was an Assistant to Kefa Kisala.

“When Maroons was relegated, i was contacted by URA FC through coach Livingston Mbabazi and I joined the team, I remember my transfer papers were worked on by Kulubya Edward who was the URA’s Chief Executive Officer then,” he narrates his move to URA FC.

Like many other footballers, he never found joining a new clubs that easy as the level of competition and training intensity was higher compared to his previous club. URA FC had better players too. So, he had to work extra hard in order to earn a starting spot.

“I joined URA FC as a forward. But, during the pre-season of the 2016/17 season, on the eve of my first season with a club, we played a friendly game but all our central midfielders were injured so I was deployed to play in the middle,”  he says.

“I had a good performance on that day so from there on wards, coach Kefa Kisaala turned me into a Central Midfielder, the position I did not feel bad to play,” he adds.

It was not until Sam Simbwa was appointed as URA FC head in 2018 that Hudu Mulikyi was forced into the backline, to play as a Central defender. He did not like his new role at all during his first days in the position.

Hudu controls the ball against Express FC in the league encounter in 2018 at Wakulukuku stadium

“At that time I cried and asked Simbwa why he was playing me out of position but he told me that I couldn’t play as i wanted in the midfield and he saw my potential as a center back.”

“From that season, i started playing as a center back and for now i am used and sometimes i don’t regret the positional change.”

“I am a hard working player who is now psychologically settled with my new position. I find a lot of comfort playing with Benjamin Nyakoojo as my partner.”

On his toughest Opponent;

“It has to be Robert Ssentongo. Ssentongo is a mobile striker who is not easy to mark and he has that added roughness to his game”

“‘Abeera akulinya linya okujja kumulamwa” which loosely translates to “he likes distracting defenders so they can lose focus during the game.”

Roberto Ssentongo is the toughest Opponent Hudu has ever faced

Timothy Awanyi is his role model. He used to watch him everytime he could get a chance.

“My Role model is former KCCA FC defender, Timothy Awanyi. I used to travel to watch him whenever KCCA FC had a game and we didn’t. He is so athletic and he knows how to use the ball effectively.”

Onto his career targets;

“My target is to play for the national team, most especially at the CHAN tournament and of course like a dream to every other football player, playing at professional level is something I wish for,” he told The Touchline Sports.

Last season, Hudu Mulikyi missed only one game  for URA FC which was against Express in Bombo due to accumulated yellow card.

Tom Matovu

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