The 2019/20 StarTimes Uganda Premier League season is just days away from kickoff.
There is much anticipation for this new season and the talk of the town is who will triumph in what promises to be a two horse race for the title.
As anxiety continue to grow, pressure mounts as well to the coaches who will be tasked to deliver.
Among the questions that have brewed up, is who will be the first manager to be showed an exit door during the course of the season.
Here, we predict the managerial casualties for the season, in no particular order;
Honorary mention – Douglas Bamweyana (Maroons FC), Kefa Kisala (Wakiso Giants) and George Best Nsimbe (Maroons)
Sam Ssimbwa – URA FC
Surprised? please do not be.
URA FC have been tipped by many to be the top contender to give KCCA FC and Vipers a big run for their money in this year’s title race.
They have signed almost an entire team highlighted by David Bagoole, Brian Majwega, Mikidad Ssenyonga, Anwar Ntege, Ivan Ntege, Ashraf Mandela among others, and there will be no excuse for failure.
However, we all know, it takes a couple of time for the new players to gel in, but the top bosses may not be patient.
Surprisinngly, coach Ssimbwa recently revealed that he has no hand in most of those new additions and that speaks a lot.
To bring you up to speed, URA FC added John Ssemazzi but reports have it that Ssimbwa has already sent him away.
This, among others, confirms the fading relationship between Ssimbwa and Club CEO Ivan Kakembo and the coach may be the victim midway through the season.
Notably, if there is one word to describe coach Ssimbwa, it has to be ‘journeyman’. He has spent a year at most of his clubs he has Coached – Masaka LC, Military Police, KCCA, Atraco, Express, Simba, Sofapaka, Victoria University and others.
He resigned at Sofapaka last year in April to take over the vacant job at URA after Paul Nkata’s departure. And he can do the same in case anything bigger pops up. Trust me.
Ssimbwa’s contract still has two years remaining, and his main task will be to bring glory back to the club that has four league titles to their name.
URA FC who were runners up in 2012/13, came into existence in 2001 after emerging from Lyantonde FC in 2001.
George Ssemwogerere – Express FC
You all expected this one.
In normal circumstances, when a former player comes back as a coach, there is a always that feel-good factor at the club.
However, it has not been the case since Ssemwogerere was named the coach in February
It was by God’s mercy that George Ssemwogerere completed last season as Express FC’s coach.
The club fans demanded for his resignation even during games they had won. They showed their discontent after their 2-0 win against Paidha Black Angels at Wankulukuku claiming that he used defensive players.
Coach Sim, as commonly known, was reported to have had a rude exchange with the fans. Express FC is one of those clubs that have a big stake in sacking the coaches, to the extent that they can close you down at your homestead as Coach Shafic Bisaso confessed at one point.
He replaced Kefa Kisala in February this year but his performance has been received with negative critics, vastly because of his defensive approach to the game.
It’s going to be a difficult season for Express whose transfer business has been highlighted by mainly exits. The club has released over 15 players notably John Revita and Michael Birungi among the cream to have left.
Livingston Mbabazi – Onduparaka FC
This is a story of a man/woman returning to his/her Ex. It’s always a trap!
Onduparaka FC sacked Mbabazi in March 2018 citing that the gaffer had failed, with club in sixth place then.
“We have gathered opinions from our board, management and fans and come up with measures that will aim to get the team back on track,” read a statement from Onduparaka in regards to sacking Mbabazi then.
The coach was sacked and asked to leave ‘with immediate effect’. He returns at the Arua based club after a successful spell with Mbarara City FC.
It promises to be a long season for Onduparaka FC, who are realistically more worse than Mbabazi had left them, to be realistic.
This is going to be their first season in top flight without towering defender and the team’s pillar Rashid Toha who has joined Vipers for greener pastures.
The club has also lost Gaddafi Gadinho not to mention Solomon Okwalinga who have joined Mbarara City FC.
The weight may be huge for captain Gaddafi Wahab and coach Mbabazi, with the club’s best business was acquiring off colour Vitalis Tabu.
To make matters worse, Onduparaka FC are set to play a couple of games away from home as their Greenlight stadium was barred from hosting league games.
Mbabazi, if not sacked, will throw in a towel.
Brian Ssenyondo – Mbarara City FC
He comes as another big surprise on this list.
There are many forces both inside and outside the club that cannot allow Ssenyondo to be the club coach.
Does he have the required FUFA B licence?
Initially, he was appointed as the assistant coach according to the information supplied by Club PR Osborne Mushabe to the club’s media platforms.
Then weeks later, he was elevated to the role of head coach, in acting capacity as the club continues to search for a the coach.
Sources in Mbarara have it that he has not been welcomed, but that has been the case at Kakyeka. It has been difficult to win their hearts unless you are Paul Mucureezi.
Ssenyondo is a good coach, very kind to everyone including the media. He has already proved his worth in the concluded Super Eight preseason tourney where he helped Mbarara City FC finish third.
However, the club officials have openly said that they are in search for a coach. The clock is just ticking.
Edward Kaziba – SC Villa
He knows it as well.
SC Villa’s coaching job is one of the hottest seats in the country, only that you are not summoned for the Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE).
Kaziba has a big mountain to climb. He has comes at a wrong time when the club surely needs rebuilding yet at the same time the fans are actually asking for instant results.
The club’s preparations have been poor and slow, they have held trials and are almost building from scratch. Though this has been the case for the last five seasons or so – chase players, call for trails. It’s a cycle, and sacking the coaches has also been another constant.
Kaziba, a former footballer with Tobacco, KCC and Miracle, has coached Jogoo Young, Standard High School, Mpindi Clan, Crested Cranes among others. This surely will be his toughest assignment.
He was given few days to assemble an army of a team that survived relegation by a whisker last season.
Last season, SC Villa sacked Moses Basena and Douglas Bamweyana, all this in the name of the coaches failing to deliver good results. Can Kaziba deliver something special?
There have been many wrangles in top management, and some disagreed on Kaziba’s appointment while many insisted that Bamweyana was still the right man for the job.
All this, including the destruction of Villa park which has to some extent put their preparations in jeopardy, will see Kaziba sacrificed for failing to top a ‘mission impossible’.