Big performers. Great contenders. It’s always a difficult assignment to single out the best player from each position in a whole season.
This list, consists of players that have been consistently good and outstanding for the 2019/20 UPL season that was ended prematurely because of the Covid19 pandemic.
Read – UPL best quotes of 2019/20
Here is the team, as named by The-SportsNation:
Fabien Mutombora (Vipers) – Unlike the biblical Samson who lost his strength when his hair was cut off, Mutombora’s new change in hair style paid dividends. He was very vocal and outstanding in the sticks, and spearheaded the 15 clean-sheets the club got this season. It has been a good year for the goalkeepers including Rogers Omedwa (Busoga), Yusuf Wasswa (Onduparaka), Saidi Keni (Villa), Edwin Build (Bright Stars) and Nafian Alionzi (URA) but Fabien takes the edge.
Paul Willa (Vipers) – Another Venom on the list, and it’s no surprise. He got exposed on most occasions and his delivery in advanced positions remained lacking. However, his consistency and never-give-up attitude earns him a place here. He fit into the squad on the first day and never looked back. Ashraf Mandela (URA) was outstanding as well.
Mustafa Kizza (KCCA) – This is a no brainer (for lack of a better word). Kizza is arguably the best player in the league and he continued to show it again this season. Very explosive going forward and the best crosser of the ball in the region. He provided leadership to the young squad and spared sometime to write his name on the score-sheet on some occasions. Have we seen the last of him in the local league? Aziz Kayondo (Vipers) and Derrick Ndahiro (Villa) were the other top contenders for this slot.
Halid Lwaliwa (Vipers) – Everyone wants an intelligent defender in the team and Lwaliwa has shown all the attributes of a good centre back this season. He is an all-round defender, won almost all the aerial duels, remained clean, composed and kept that good face in rare times of adversity.
Hillary Mukundane (Mbarara City) – A difficult decision to make, but I settled for someone solid. Mbarara has blown hot and cold this season, but their captain has remained consistent throughout. His ability still calls for divided opinion. Not a clean player you will love to watch every week but a man mountain who will get the work done for you. His desire to win and defensive prowess remains on top of his agenda. Kato Samuel (KCCA) and Patrick Mbowa (URA) have been outstanding as well.
Gift Ali (KCCA) – Very workaholic, and this season brought back the real Gigi the world fell in love with in the past. He fulfilled his defensive duties in the midfield and initiated the team’s attacks. A very nice guy, and helped KCCA win games they had no business winning. He edges David Owori (SC Villa) and Bobosi Byaruhanga (Vipers) to this one.
David Bagoole (Busoga) – Who has been the best player this season? You can’t mention three players and fail to include him. Very comfortable with the ball and caught the spark as the season progressed especially after Boban Zirintusa left the team. He was named man of the match in almost all the games Busoga won this season, and on merit. Inspired the side to fourth place. The rants against Mckinstry when he did not include Bagoole on the provisional squad highlights how good the midfielder has been. Karim Watambala (Vipers) and Shafic Kagimu (URA) also impressed.
Saidi Kyeyune (URA) – His talent has never been in doubt, but this season, he surely came out of the shell and Kagimu’s shadow as well. He bamboozled the defenders with his pace and trickery as he strolled through the middle of the park. A good passer of the ball and provided the necessary gear as URA disciplined opponents. A big game player with an eye for the goal. Hassan Ssenyonjo (Wakiso Giants) and Anukani Bright (Proline) deserves a mention.
Steven Mukwala (Maroons) – The topscorer, can I stop there? No. It will take you years to list players who have been league top scorers for a relegated team. Mukwala has been the silver lining for a poor Maroons this season for extended stretches. From being surplus to requirements at Vipers to being the most outstanding player of the league. He showed all the traits of a goal poacher this season – Composure, Positional awareness and excellent finishing. Frank Kalanda (Express FC) and Mike Mutyaba (KCCA) had a good season as well.
Fahad Bayo (Vipers) – He finished second on the topscorer list with 12 goals, tied with Ben Ocen. He didn’t do much outside the box but did the most important thing – putting the ball at the back of the net. The best signing of the season and his goals delivered a championship. Very powerful and a good header of the ball. He missed easy ones, but scored the ones you least expected, and that made him special. Cromwell Rwothomio (URA) and Brian Aheebwa (Mbarara City) had a good run.
Ambrose Kirya (Villa) – Very crucial for the Jogoos this season. He got the ability to find the gaps in defences and managed to beat the keeper seven times this season. He provided maturity and leadership at the club. He lacked consistency at times but managed to show up when needed most. Joachim Ojera (URA), Viane Ssekajugo (Wakiso) and Frank Ssenyondo (Express) are the other notable figures.
Coach – Edward Kaziba (Villa) – At the start of the season, Kaziba was one of the favourites for being the first coach to be sacked. He has not only proved many doubters wrong but put himself among the elite coaches in the league. Very quite, calm and respected on the touchline. He transformed Villa from a relegation material side to a title contender despite all the woes that surrounded the club from management to failure to clear player arrears. Abbey Bogere Kikomeko (Busoga) and Brian Ssenyondo (Mbarara) stood out as well in a season where teams treated coaches as rags.