Ahead of the Uganda Premier League season that kicked off on Thursday, 3rd December 2020, we assess the ten best signings made by the clubs in Uganda’s top flight, the StarTimes UPL.
Defending champions Vipers SC were due to get the action underway on Thursday but due to their CAF champions league engagements, their match against newly-promoted side MYDA FC was postponed to a date that will be determined at a later date.
It is instead the second-placed KCCA FC who opened the season with a 2-1 win over Soltilo Bright Stars at the Kavumba recreation grounds while Champions.
Vipers have won the title three times in the last six seasons and head into the new campaign as favorites once again, having bolstered their squad with the additions of David Bagoole, Ibrahim Orit, Disan Galiwango, Jamil Kalisa, and Manzoki Cesar.
Here are the 10 new signings that we are expecting to thrive this season.
The loss of Brian Aheebwa to KCCA FC left that needed to be filled at Mbarara City ahead of the new season and in Mutanda, they got a player capable of thriving under Brian Ssenyondo, in a slightly different role.
Mutanda, signed on a free after his contract with SC Villa expired will be expected to offer more goals, having netted 15 times in his first season at the Jogoos before being limited by a left ankle injury in his second to net only twice in 11 matches.
In a player who boasts of plenty of experience, having played featured for Vipers, Kirinya Jinja SS (Now Busoga United), and SC Villa, Ssenyondo should expect the tenacious 22-year old’s best this coming season.
Mukwala was on the brink of joining the 13-time UPL champions KCCA, but due to the failure to agree on personal terms, the lanky forward opted to join URA FC.
Mukwala was last season’s StarTimes UPL topscorer with 13 goals garnered in 23 games for Maroons and will ignite the Tax collectors attacking force that has been blunt since the departure of Robert Ssentongo.
After 13 years, Tony Mawejje re-signed for Uganda Police Football Club this season.
The veteran Midfielder who has played at more than 10 clubs in the past decade, will surely be a spark for Abdullah Mubiru’s side as he attempts to revive his career
A leader, fighter, and great passer of the ball, Mawejje will restrengthen Police’s Midfield.
Disan Galiwango has one of the best left-sided players in the league for the last two seasons at Express, having found the back of the net 10 times in 58 games for the Red Eagle.
Having been signed up at Vipers, it looks immensely shrewd business by Venoms as he will provide some well-needed reinforcement to both Vipers’ backline and attacking force.
Vipers saw off competition from a number of rivals and ensured one of the hottest properties in Ugandan Football, David Bagoole would join them during this season’s transfer window.
Disan Galiwango will help restrengthen Kajoba’s backline, Jamil Kalisa will add to the option in midfield but Bagoole looks like the most exciting of all Ugandan champions’ new recruits.
The stylish central midfielder will add creativity and experience to the Vipers’ Midfield, having played in Uganda, Kenya, Seychelles, and DRC in the last 10 seasons.
After a failed move to URA last season, Bagoole recouped at Busoga United in the second half of the season, scoring two goals and assisting his teammates five times in just the 15 games he featured in.
He is indeed one of the new signings we expect to thrive at their new clubs.
Denis Iguma needs little introduction in Ugandan Football, the utility Uganda Cranes player returned to the Uganda Premier League and joined the Kasasiro Boys on a two-year employment deal.
Despite being out of action for over a year due to a gruesome anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, the versatile Cranes defender who is capped 61 times, is expected to add steel to the Lugogo-based Kasasiros who will start this season seeking to wrestle back the crown from Vipers.
Another name that needs no much introduction for his tremendous adventure with the Uganda Cranes, the former Vipers and Victoria University defender returned home and joined Express FC as a free agent after bitterly ending his contract at Wydad Casablanca.
Juuko, having garnered 41 national caps with the Cranes and featuring in two AFCON tournaments (2017 and 2019), will add a lot of experience to the Red Eagles and will most likely partner team captain Enock Walusimbi (another new recruit) at the heart of the Express defense.
One of the most-talented midfielders Uganda has produced in the last decade, Nunda was released by KCCA FC at the end of last season and was snapped up by Uganda Revenue Authority Football Club in the last transfer window.
Despite being plagued by injuries, Nunda is a livewire of a player, skilled on the ball, and loves to create chances for others. He will provide an extremely tough competition to Shafiq Kagimu and Saidi Kyeyune for the playmaker role in the tax Collector’s midfield.
This is a deal that has a very clear winner and a very clear loser. KCCA FC are the obvious winners having signed the explosive forward for nothing, Mbarara. On the other hand, Mbarara City gave away their brightest spark to a league rival.
Brian Aheebwa had last season as his most productive, finding the back of the net on 8 occasions in the league for Mbarara City FC.
After losing Patrick Kaddu to Morocco’s RS Berkane, with no doubt, the club has struggled to fill the void left by the Cranes international. All his replacements have failed to make the grade at Lugogo. Sadat Anaku, Sam Senyonjo, and Sulaiman Mutyaba have all been tried and tested in the position, but have all not been consistent because of inexperience by some and injuries to others as well.
Aheebwa is versatile and can play in all upfront positions and is capable of drifting from deep to open up chances and find the back of the net.
Having opened up his account this season at his new club against Soltilo Bright Stars at Kavumba, there will be an increase in the number of goals and this could make the only difference between KCCA FC’s last season and their 2020/21 title aspirations.