The 2019/20 StarTimes Uganda Premier League is underway.
There are many questions that are yet to be answered and may go on midway through the season. One that stands out is whether the clubs have done enough in the transfer window to reach their set goals.
Here are the top five best signings of the window.
Spoiler alert, no Shaban Mohammed!
Joel Mutakubwa (Kyetume FC)
We are living in a generation where the goalkeeper’s role goes at times less appreciated.
However, I am a Ugandan, so I know what it feels to have a good goalkeeper – Its Denis Onyango in case you are lost.
Kyetume FC were everyone’s favourites for the drop this season but a hard fought 1-0 win on the opening day of the season has left many with divided opinions.
The club, bolstering with veterans, acquired shot stopper Joel Mutakubwa from Tooro United and he will surely be one of their best players this season. Tooro will have to do with Crispus Tusiime.
Mutakubwa was outstanding last season, keeping three cleansheets from as many games in January as the side mounted challenge in the league.
He is most remembered for keeping out three penalties as Tooro beat KCCA FC in the Stanbic Uganda Cup in shootouts.
There were not many keepers in the transfer window, and Kyetume should count themselves lucky for winning the lottery.
Nicholas Ssebwato is the other who joined Bright Stars.
Kyetume has a good backline by their standards that has Jonathan Mugabi Dante, Benon Tahomera, Samson Mutyaba, Dan Birikwalira, Sam Ssenkoomi among others but it’s Mutakubwa, the last line of defence that holds the team’s chances in his own palms.
Mikidad Ssenyonga (URA FC)
URA FC are very serious contenders to the throne and the club’s transfer business speaks volumes.
They finished last season third, and their title frailties were due to their inability to score goals.
Sam Ssimbwa’s charges only scored 28 goals last season, three teams scored less – Ndejje, Paidha and Nyamityobora – and they were relegated.
They have brought in a couple of players that include Ashraf Mandela, Ivan Sserubiri, Anwar Ntege, Ivan Ntege among others, but its a typical goal poacher that they wanted the most. In Mikidad Ssenyonga, they got the right man.
He has been taking the Masaza Cup tournament by storm and am sure he will join the long list of the Buganda tourney’s best products.
Ssenyonga signed a three year contract with an option to extend a further year. The former KJT captain, 22 years old, has played for Ssingo, Gomba, Buddu and Busiro but he has never won the prestigious Masaza cup and that shows how hungry he is for any silverware.
He has been given the iconic shirt number 10, ahead of the club’s best players Shafic Kagimu and Saidi Kyeyune, and that headlines the belief coach Ssimbwa has in him.
Geoffrey Sserunkuma (Wakiso Giants)
There are many players that have returned from abroad and there are higher expectations for them to lit the local league.
Wakiso Giants has been a destination to some.
The side has a decent lineup for a newly promoted team and you can be forced to believe that Coach Kefa Kisala is the team’s weak link.
Sserunkuma scored 20 goals for KCCA and finished as the league’s top-scorer in that 2016/17 season. He still has some goals with him, though not as lethal as he used to be.
With a supporting cast that also has another good signing in Viane Ssekajugo, Tom Masiko, Ivan Kiweewa, Hassan Ssenyonjo, Muwadda Mawejje and Duncan Sseninde among others, Sserunkuma can rain goals.
Siraje Ssentamu (Vipers)
You doubt his ability? ask KCCA FC coach Mike Mutebi.
Vipers have already began life without former captain Taddeo Lwanga, and I can assure that he has not been a second. Siraje Ssentamu has filled the void as required.
This is Siraje’s second spell at Vipers who joined from URA FC, and he is making it count.
He is a workaholic player who holds back well, roams tirelessly all around the pitch and nullifies the opponents’ attacks.
He has already showed why he will be the most integral player at Kitende when he provided the needed balance and provided while pocketing Allan Okello as Vipers beat KCCA FC at Wankulukuku in the Super Eight final.
Not a good one to watch, but football is not a theatre where people go for entertainment. Its business and history will remember the final results. Siraje wins games.
John Revita (KCCA FC)
We all agree on this one.
Express FC has learned nothing and forgotten nothing.
Revita joins that list of players that have made a name at Express FC and left at no cost.
KCCA FC acquiring Revita at a zero cost is the best buy of this year’s window.
He joined KCCA at a time when they needed a defender urgently since the departure of Timothy Denis Awany, who was by far the best player of the 2018/19 season.
In Revita, they have a composed defender whose versatility can see him play comfortable in midfield as well.
He is a composed and calm player, though not prone to errors. He has good game reading but most importantly, he is a leader.
Honourable mentions – Allan Kayiwa (Vipers), Viane Ssekajugo (Wakiso Giants), Yayo Lutimba (SC Villa), Isaac Kirabira (Kyetume FC), Gadaffi Gadinho (Mbarara), Fahad Bayo (Vipers), Shafic Nana Kakeeto (Busoga United).