After the final whistle, all the players converged at Brian Ssenyondo in celebration. Mbarara City had won three in three since his return. Beating KCCA FC 2-1 at Kakyeka.
As he celebrated with his players, Brian Ssenyondo looked contented that he had done enough to convince the top bosses for the job of a permanent coach. Many fans, who sang his name after the game, shared the same idea.
Mbarara City are set to officially announce a coach on permanent basis before the second round of the 2019/20 StarTimes UPL.
Ssenyondo, who is the filling the void for the second time following the departure of Paul Nkata, is among the top contenders and has already made his case.
The team, bankrolled by MP Mwiine Mpaka, finished eighth with 19 points after 15 games.
The club reportedly held talks with Livingstone Mbabazi who has since joined Wakiso Giants while Wasswa Bbosa is also in line for the job.
“We are talking with many coaches,” said Mpaka while appearing on NBS’ The Score last Sunday. “We hope to make an official announcement after a board meeting next week. We want the best for this club.”
Has Ssenyondo Done Enough?
Ssenyondo was brought in at the start of the season in what was to many an infamous decision based on his short coaching career.
Filling the big boots of Mbabazi who left after falling away with fans, Ssenyondo managed to propel the club to third place in the FUFA Pilsner Super Eight tourney.
He helped Mbarara to a convincing 3-0 victory against Proline in their league opener but the young gaffer failed to replicate his strong start thereafter, saw the team winless in their subsequent four games.
Impatient, Mbarara acted when they showed Ssenyondo an exit door.
In a letter later revealed to the press, the club confirmed that the former Synergy coach was just demoted to the role of junior team coach after he “submitted wanting CAF B documents that were rejected by FUFA licence committee.”
Notably, in that brief spell, Ssenyondo was just assistant coach whose credentials were being put to test.
In came Paul Nkata, and fast forward, he was sacked after abysmal performances; He won once from seven games managed, with his stint coming down with a 3-0 away loss to BUL FC.
Nkata, who arrived with much hope, left the club flirting just a place above relegation with 10 points after 12 games!
Ssenyondo was recalled on short notice to see the club through the remaining games, and as expected, he took the chance with open hands.
Three wins including a 2-1 win against defending champions KCCA sent a big statement to the doubters.
And if his second chance was a test, he has passed it with flying colours.
He has managed to instill belief and restore lost hope in what was already ruled to be a gone season for the Ankole lions.
And most important of all, the players have loved him and he has showed what he has to offer after picking up the pieces of Nkata’s embattled short tenure.
Since joining top flight, Richard Makumbi, Vialli Bainomugisha, Ibrahim Kirya, Sam Kawalya, Mbabazi and Nkata have held the title of Mbarara City head coach.
Friends close to Brian Ssenyondo have already suggested how much the young gaffer loves this job but if this comes to pass, he will have inherited a team with lofty targets and demanding fans.