MYDA FC fans lift their goalkeeper in celebration of Uganda Cup victory in Jinja. Fred Mwambu photo
MYDA FC earned top flight promotion on May 20 after the Federation of Uganda Football Association decided to end the football season due to the Covid19 pandemic.
The club has emerged from the ruins of Malaba, a town in Tororo which is a crossing point between Uganda and Kenya.
Malaba is plagued by crime because of unemployment of most youths but the rise of the football team, has seen a positive transformation.
In 2007, a body named Malaba Youth Development Association was formed at Malaba as a clearing agency for vehicles and other goods across the border.
This, was intended to help the less privileged acquire jobs for a town that has around 20,000 people.
The following year, members of the clearing agents spearheaded by John Rubamburamazi, Yego Habibu and a couple of others decided to form a football team which was later named MYDA FC.
“Our mission was to put out something that would unite all the youths in the area,” says Rubamburamazi. “In Malaba, there are no factories, there are few job opportunities and the rate at which children drop out of schools is very high.”
“As members of the Association, we wanted to set an example. So, we formed a football team to see that these youths are destructed away from crime. After playing football in the evening, they will go back home to sleep, just.”
Rubamburamazi and the group could play at Teens ground after their work in the evening.
The team started to become a source of hope for the youths and changed from playing for fun in the community to competing.
“Starting to compete seriously came with some challenges,” adds Rubamburamazi who is a a Finance controller at MYDA and a Vice President at MYDA FC.
“Some of us had to stop playing and focus on getting for money to fund the club in terms of getting water for players among other requirements.
“We suggested that all members of the Association had to contribute Sh3500 each on match-day. We had less income, and some of these players had families to take care of.”
Other initial members (players) of the team included Philip Akena, Ayub Paruku (both goalkeepers), Richard Kidega, Sunday Omuse, Asadu Tabu, Sam Simeu.
The Rise And Rise
The team decided to take the game a notch higher, and registered in the FUFA fourth division. Later, the side qualified to the Eastern Regional league in 2010 and played at that level for about eight seasons under the stewardship of coach Erisa Madanda.
In the 2017/18 season, MYDA FC qualified to the Regional league playoffs.
They faced Bugiri De School, and after a goalless affair in the normal time, penalties were to decide who goes in the FUFA Big League. Unfortunately, MYDA FC lost 4-2 in shootouts.
The team went back to the drawing board, rearranged and came back stronger, under current coach Abdul Musafiri Samadu.
The side, in the 2018/19, returned to the playoffs and this time revenged against Bugiri De School to win the Eastern Region title 4-3 via penalties. Eric Mutebi, Dickson Outta, Rashid Mpata and Isaac Osikoli scored from the spot.
They were pitted against North Eastern Regional league champions Akadot FC to see who joins the FUFA Big League.
MYDA won the first leg 4-1 away from home thanks to goals from Cosea Wasswa (2), Eric Mutebi and Isma Kifwe.
They lost the second leg in Malaba 3-2 with Isma Kifwe and Brian Torachi on target for the hosts at Teens playground on June 25, 2019; qualifying for the FUFA Big League on 6-3 aggregate.
The Road To Uganda Premier League
In preparation for the deep waters of the big league, the club on August 18, 2019 renewed contracts of six players and let go of the rest.
The players who were retained include Osikol Isaac, Outta Dickson, Madanda Bassi Mark, Mafabi Isma, Mande Martin and Oundo Fredrick.
They added Ibrahim Nsimbe from JMC Hippos, Andrew Basama from Jinja SS and Norman Ojik who joined from Kansai in the January window.
Nsimbe has scored seven goals for the side in Big League, the team’s top scorer.
MYDA FC kicked off their debut season in FUFA Big League with an away game; Musa Nawulere scoring the only goal to hand Malaba’s team maximum points against Kiboga Young (Mbale Heroes) at CRO San Siro on October 17, 2019.
Fast forward, by the time football was stopped in the country due to Covid19, MYDA FC were leading the Elgon group with 21 points after 11 games. Four above second placed Kiboga on a 9-team log.
They had won six games, drawn three and two losses coming against Light SS at home (Elgon View) and Kataka.
FUFA decided to declare MYDA FC (Elgon) and UPDF FC from Rwenzori group as the two automatically promoted teams to play in the Uganda Premier League for the 2020/21 season.
“It was one of my most exciting moments ever,” reflects Rubamburamazi. “It was pleasing to see a team we started making its way to the top.
“We have many challenges along the way, many teams in the area have tried this path and have all gone into extinction. The likes of Galaxy FC, Heriens FC, Malaba Strikers, Matoda FC, Malaba United and Team Challenge.”
How Far Can MYDA FC Go In The UPL?
MYDA FC has already spotted some new players to use in the top flight.
Team captain Isaac Osikol, in a recent interview with NBS TV, confirmed that they are ready to rub shoulders with the big boys.
The club is hoping to host games at King George stadium in Tororo. They initially hosted at Teens grounds in Malaba but the ground did not have enough requirements to host Big League games.
Club PRO Andre Mika told this website that moving to Tororo has been a big burden financially to the fans who have to incur transport fares in addition to entrance fee on match-day.
MYDA FC – The Committee
- CEO – muwanguzi Hannington
- President – Mohammed Shire
- Vice President – Rubamburamazi John
- Finance – Matovu Andrew
- Marketing – Nabweteme Shakira
- Technical Director – Musazi Baker
- Team Manager – Musazi Baker
- Head Coach – Musafiri Abdu Samadu
- Assistant Coach – Mafabi Yakubu
- GoalKeeping – Osenya Hussein
- Kits Manager – Sserunkuma Richard
- Team Doctor – Kitaka Joel