“The wise postulate that it is never enough to be good if one possesses the ability to be better. They further expound that under circumstances when the best isn’t good enough, then mankind ought to step out of their shell, straight into the auric field surrounding them so as to achieve the much-needed grade.”
This was an insightful highlight from a feature story done by a colleague (Tendo Nicktah Musoke) prior to the commencement of the season.
The caption has however been and still remains posed in a question format: “Could this be the season where the tax collectors under the stewardship of the enigmatic Sam Simbwa finally break the jinx and conquer the “near men” curse?”
Any form of silverware this season was always going to answer the question.
I write about all this in retrospect now that the season is about to be concluded with the Stanbic Uganda Cup already out of the picture courtesy of not so glamorous displays against a pragmatic Express FC side over two legs. The ejection came in handy for URA who have failed to register a win against Waswa Bbossa in four times of asking this season.
The only chance for silverware this season remains in the league where rven still, their future isn’t in their own hands but have to win their remaining four games and pray Express FC come off short either against Wakiso Giants or KCCA FC in a game that will climax the season at the MTN Omondi stadium in Lugogo.
To the many intimately acquainted with the tax collectors this season though, the feelings of satisfaction and belief (that this could be the season where the holy grail comes home) have been rampant.
To dutifully appreciate the perspective of pundits, stakeholders and fans alike who subscribe to this school of thought, one can’t look ahead of these reasons:
The Sam Simbwa effect. The legend of Sam Simbwa talks about the prolific footballer he was. One of the very best to grace the Ugandan game but also shine a light on his ever so elastic managerial career that has seen him have a lot of sojourns across the country and in the neighbourhood of East Africa.
When he took charge of URA FC back in 2018, he promised the media that his intention was to see out this contract. To date, the intention has never been in question but the ask of him by his bosses has always been silverware, the league preferably.
For Ssimbwa, winning the league will not only be a good feeling but also a reminiscence of his most recent success back in the 2011/2012 season with Express FC. Winning them their sixth and last league trophy with the incumbent head coach at the Red Eagles as his understudy.
The year 2012 will always be held in high esteem by Simbwa but most especially by the fans with sentiments as seen especially in the game against their arch-nemesis SC Villa, a game that forced a look of wonder and awe of a vanquished then caretaker Jogoo manager Joseph Kanaaba when he caught a glimpse at Bonny Baingana’s mastery.
The tax collectors themselves have a rich history since their inception into the topflight league back in 2002 as Lyantonde FC. They have won the league four times in the years of (2006,2007,2009 and 2011) and are currently on the quest for their fifth. They will however have to shrug off the misgivings in the previous season that saw them finish 5th and outside of the top 4 positions.
The gaffer has had quite a journey in his managerial career and it surely isn’t foolhardy for anyone to believe that he will deliver as his resùme aptly suggests.
The rise to the occasion of Steven Mukwala and team skipper Shafik Kagimu also can’t go unmentioned. Mukwala being the previous season’s top scorer came with a huge reputation to the team and boy has he lived up to the billing. His goalscoring prowess is proving key to URA’s title charge. He is currently on 14 league goals.
Shafik Kagimu on the other hand has proved an upward level of consistency that is non-comparable. The departure of his midfield counterpart Saidi Kyeyune at the back end of last year left a vacuum that he hasn’t allowed the team to notice. He has already registered double figures in goals this season.
Additionally, the records have been coming in this season for the tax collectors. They have managed a double against KCCA FC and the majority of other teams, they finished the first round of the season unbeaten away from home and all this has helped create a positive vibe around the club. Don’t get me started on the blue tick that many have waxed lyrical about on Twitter.
Much as the ejection from the Stanbic Uganda Cup was seen to bring serious ramifications as an indictment to Simbwa’s time at the club, a few like Patrick Ochieng Fred (Head of PR at URA FC) saw it as a blessing in disguise and a chance for the club to concentrate on the league.
The defeat against the Mukono based side Kyetume FC at the abattoir was totally unacceptable in Simbwa’s voice and has proved detrimental to their title hopes. He however maintains that chance is still there for his side.
The ultimate reason however is the feeling that the tax collectors have a more negotiable final four games as compared to their opponents Express FC and Vipers FC. URA FC will play against Wakiso Giants, Airtel Kitara, Busoga United and Myda.
The toughest here being Wakiso Giants but Simbwa knows too well not to underestimate a team fighting relegation like Busoga United. This however shouldn’t prove to be an insurmountable challenge for Ssimbwa.