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StarTimes UPL 2020/21: Kyetume FC look to be preparing their abattoir for forthcoming season

StarTimes UPL Kyetume FC

Necessity is often the mother of invention, the journey of Kyetume FC shapes this narrative quite well and puts into consideration the resilience and commitment they have had to exhibit along this so desirable route. The necessity that provoked their creation bared the ambition to get to the top-flight league.

Additionally, to be young is to be open to new challenges. They took in all the challenges and slowly-and-gradually made their way into the Promised Land. The challenges however still surround them to this present day and so do all other clubs in the topflight. Most notably is the uncertainty surrounding the resumption of the league.

Music has charms to soothe the savage breast, the beautiful game has joy that is accommodated inside one’s heart. This joy and ecstasy was the presumed reaction by various sports enthusiasts in the country at the announcement of the resumption of these sports disciplines by the president earlier this month.

It however wasn’t for many stakeholders at the realization of the requirements set for this resumption to happen. The SOPs are hard to navigate especially for football clubs that aren’t institutionally owned. Even the would-be able boarded clubs seem not comfortable with the arrangements.

This reality has gone ahead to provoke a further extension to the earlier set StarTimes Uganda Premier League resumption date. The league will now happen somewhere around the November of 2020 with the new dates yet to be confirmed.

 Their maiden season in the top flight

It’s always a moment coupled with joy and ecstasy gaining promotion to the topflight league. That kind of exclamation was the definition of the Slaughters as they tasted the deep waters in their debut 2019/2020 season.

Interestingly, eleven of the 30 teams to face relegation had just gained promotion to the mainstream league that particular season since the 2010/2011 season.

Tracking back to Gulu United, Aurum Roses FC, KJT Rwenshama FC, Masavu FC, Nyamityobola FC, Ndejje University FC, Paidha Black Angels FC, and most recently Proline FC.

The Slaughters managed to break the jinx and maintain their stay for an extra season. They managed to wither the storm that came along and finished eleventh on the table, three places off the relegation threat. Fair to say they made a good account of themselves.

They finished with 30 points from 25 league games, winning 9 games (most notably against SC Villa), drawing 3 and losing 13 games in the just-concluded season. With these points, they finished the season 6 points off the drop.

This just about climaxed their debut season and granted them a chance to compete in the season to come. They have already embarked on sorting their managerial situation.

Furthermore, they have maintained the bulk of their experienced players. Most notably Robert Ssentongo who scored eight goals on their way to the top-flight. He individually has four golden boot awards.

Their skipper Vincent Kayizi and one of the most experienced players in the country also stayed along with their goalkeeper Joel Mutakubwa who was by far their most impressive player the previous season.

 The management conundrum

StarTimes UPL - Jackson Maynja Kyetume FC

Uganda cranes legend Jackson Mayanja had earlier in the February of 2019 signed a short term contract with the Slaughters after his rather unprecedented sabbatical since departing Tanzanian giants Simba Sports Club.

He came in after the magnificent Allan Kabonge had delivered promotion to the topflight league for Kyetume FC. His resume as a coach was rich with adventures from then Lyantonde FC (URA FC), Bunamwaya FC (SC Vipers), Coastal Union, and so forth. All fans were convinced he was the right one.

He boasts of two Uganda Premier league titles (1991 and 1997) and two Uganda Cup honors (1987 and 1990) with KCCA FC but as a player. The three CECAFA titles (1990, 1992, and 1996) are also interestingly hard to miss. He quickly settled in but things went astray before not so long.

The milestones attained in his career as a player do not however reflect his managerial credentials as many fans and fellow Ugandan Football legends alike are often skeptical granted a chance to speak about his personality as a manager.

This further explains the inter-face between him and Club chairman Ruben Mubiru Kaggwa that saw his responsibilities at the club converted from team manager to Sporting Director. Something that to this present day has many still confused.

This, as lightly as one can look at it has presented a big problem especially with the governing body (FUFA). The conundrum is that FUFA still recognizes Jackson Mayanja as the head coach at Kyetume FC.

The club has however gone ahead to recruit Livingstone Mbabazi in the position as manager but he is yet to be recognized by FUFA since the contract for Jackson “Mia Mia” Mayanja-as manager has not been terminated by the club.

 One can then ask why his contract is yet to be terminated

Sources close to the club indicate that the reason has to be financially oriented and that the club has to pay the legend for his time as head coach before he switches to the technical director. I however trust the two parties will sort this before no time.

 Nicholas Kasozi-a prize won

StarTimes UPL Kyetume FC signs up Nicholas Kasozi - the touchline sports

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder they say, but I say it resides in the eyes of the behold as well. For talent that is extremely exceptional like that of this midfield maestro (Nicholas Kasozi), it is always there for everyone (himself inclusive) to see.

This explains why his former manager Mike Mutebi outrageously christened him Uganda’s Iniesta during his KCCA unveiling. How this marriage failed, heaven knows!

He is regarded as the best central midfielder in the Ugandan game by many. This is no exaggeration given the immense talent bestowed unto him.

He is by all means a player very assertive in transition and one that holds onto the ball more often than not. He does recycle the ball in midfield and creates a platform for other midfielders and front players to freely express themselves.

He is the fulcrum and genesis of all attacks in the team and the ultimate cover for the defense. He is the epitome of perfection when it gets to ball distribution and creation of balance for the team. This explains his comparisons and his earning of the “Ugandan Iniesta” title.

He happens to be the latest addition for the Slaughters and already, the vibration and spirits around the club are intoxicating. Everyone associated to the club seems positive going into next season with him in their midfield.

Many have however questioned his attitude but his new manager has been quick to rubbish the claims of his lack of commitment.  This comes given the controversial manner of his KCCA FC exit.

What’s clear was that both parties didn’t seem content with the arrangement and therefore a premature end to this contract seemed the best option for both parties. Some KCCA fans however maintain that the player is synonymous with mediocrity despite his undoubted talent.

With this new shot to redemption, the player is expected to enjoy a spirited return to his very best. The joy and fan he provides on the pitch are fascinating and are worth holding in high esteem. He (at his best) has the ability to take them to another level.

 What next season holds for them

In the forthcoming season, Kyetume FC will make their second successive tenure in the Ugandan Premier League. They seem to present a benchmark for sound administration as seen from the structures put up indoor to finish eleventh and avoid the drop.

The administration as a whole deserves credit for the exceptional work done. These entail the board of governors, chairman, Technical Director, the arms that form the secretariat, the technical team, and the players. The vibe around this team was good for the entire 2019/2020 season.

The biggest task for Livingstone Mbabazi and his team which entails Baker Kasule, Yusuf Senyonjo, Lawrence Lukanika, and the most recent addition Jimmy Kintu is to shrug off relegation and create a competitive identity for the Slaughters.

Mbabazi himself being a master at his craft, a manager that can create or recreate a player and instill a lot of creativity both in thought and offensive mindset (in approach). A manager who has a lot to offer from the technical viewpoint.

He looks to have climaxed his nomadism from one club to another across Ugandan football franchises and appears set to settle at this Mukono based side. (At least by his own revelation)

This new stint will be his second with the Mukono-based side with the first being a few years ago in the second division. He would depart the club after attracting interest from Onduparaka FC (where he was for two stints as well).

He seems to have come home and looks to settle in immediately. Why wouldn’t he since this is a familiar ground? He finds a team that fought to stay in the league the previous season.

The core of the team is formed by Vincent Kayizi, Julius Ntambi, Samson Mutyaba, Cephas Kambugu, Johnathan Mugabi, Benon Tahomera, Deo Isejja, Patrick Ochan, Robert Ssentongo, and former SC Villa and KCCA FC midfielder Isaac Kirabira. The other new signing is Rashid Muhammad from Onduparaka.

What’s clear is that the target is staying in the topflight league come next season. This is something Mbabazi can deliver if he stays put. The club needs the right mindset and he is charged with the responsibility of providing it.

Timothy Kuteesa
Timothy Kuteesa is a professional journalist and editor with The Touchline Sports. He is also a certified Content & Digital Marketing Executive and Statistician. He likes to do a bit of Poetry & Writing in his free-time as well. Creative Art and Graphics Designing are some of his intrigues, coupled with Video & Photography. Email = [email protected]

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