A Barefoot Cromwell Rwothomio Abang together with his young friends could play polythene bag-balls in the compound and sometimes outside a bigger playground in his Village of Mubogo in Pakwach.
Few could envisage that he would later become one of the most feared strikers in the Uganda Premier League at the moment.
He had a dream, and he kept pushing day in, day out.
Rwothomio was born on May 10, 1998 in Pakwach to Ochaka Sebastian and Onen Peninah. He went to Omach Primary School in Pakwach and Pakwach SS for his O and A level. He later graduated with a diploma in Accounting at UCC Pakwach.
He started playing competitive football at Pajobi Independent FC and later joined Pakwach Young Stars in 2011-2015 and later, he signed for Paidha Black Angels where he played from 2015 to 2018 before moving to URA FC.
He traces his football journey to have started in 2006 as a toddler in Pakwach.
“I started playing football during my primary school days because by then we used to play in a small field just outside the playground,” Rwothomio narrates his story to The-SportsNation.
“I could fear to play for bigger teams in competitive matches in my village. We used to play polythene bag balls and we had our team in the village (Mubogo) in Pakwach verse other villages within Pakwach, so each team had a playground in the compound.”
His football dream got closer to reality in 2010 when he was given an opportunity to showcase his talent after the formation of a village team.
“There came a man called Engineer Orombi who started a team in Pajoba called Pajoba Independent,” Rwothomio remembers.
“So we formed a team called Pajoba Independent, but our elder brothers were the players in the team, as you know Village teams undermine young players and only put attention on the older players.
“We could go for the matches but they couldn’t consider us, but after some years they started including us in team after realising our talents in training.”
When he was given a chance, Rwothomio took it and proved everyone wrong and his scoring abilities cemented his starting place in the team.
Since the debut for Pajoba Independent, Rwothomio never looked back and he was invited for a Regional League qualifier to play for Pakwach Youngsters.
He explains: “Pakwach Youngsters was playing Zonal league which is the Regional League Qualifiers in Zeu, then they called me to join their team.”
Joining Paidha Black Angels
Rwothomio’s voyage to Paidha Black Angels started in 2014 when he was scouted playing for Pakwach Youngsters in the regional league qualifiers where he scored eight goals.
Then, Paidha Black Angels was in the regional league then later qualified to the Big League.
“Paidha Black Angels scouted me when playing for Pakwach Youngsters in Zeu in the Zonal league because I was among the top scorers,” he comments.
When he was signed, he never joined Paidha Black Angels immediately. The team allowed him to go back in Pakwach to first complete his studies.
Rwothomio, in 2015, officially signed a three-year contract with the Zombo-bases team.
He played at Paidha for three years, scoring 7 goals in his debut season in 2015, six in 2016 and 9 the following season to help the side earn Uganda Premier League promotion.
He bagged three goals in the first round before he was snatched by URA FC.
Rwothomio Cromwell left Paidha Black Angels for URA in January 2019 after scoring 25 goals in total for the club.
“It was not an easy decision to leave Paidha,” Rwothomio opens up. “We were like family, I had SL many closest friends like Odagiu Khalid, Sula Sekamwa, Oyirwoth Jonathan, Okumu Brian Bithum Francis alias Rasta Donki and Kasirye.”
He confesses that his best teammate at Paidha Black Angels was goalkeeper Oyirwoth Jonathan because “whenever I scored he could join me for the celebration, then Odagiu Khalid because we made an agreement that whoever scores carries the other.”
He branded the Paidha Black Angels fans as “the best ever since I started playing football” and they were the ones who recommended him to become the team captain in in 2017.
He says that one of his worst moments was when he scored against them (Paidha).”
Life at URA
Rwothomio Cromwell managed to score five goals in his debut campaign for URA in the second round.
“In URA I settled well through making friendship with my teammates,” the striker says.
He says that he was never troubled to fit in because he had met teammates like Joachim Ojera and Nafian Alionzi before, and coach Sam Simbwa also “gave me confidence to settle there.”
He states: “I joined URA Because I loved the team and it was the team that I hoped to play for.”
He adds that he was also persuaded by Villa Oromchan who used to talk good about URA.
“Another thing that persuaded me to join URA is my former teammate at Paidha Black Angels Oromchan Villa who could tell me good things about the club because he once played for them (URA) so that gave me more passion for URA.”
He was also attracted by the need to be play alongside quality players at URA like Saidi Kyeyune and Shafiq Kagimu.
He adds that captain Shafiq Kagimu “relates with me so much, he tells me what to do, he’s a good guy I like him.”
On his relationship with the gaffer Sam Simbwa, Rwothomio says “My relationship with the coach is good as you know he is always a serious person, so I only communicate with him about football especially on match day.
On the fans at URA, Rwothomio claims that “URA fans are not all that many but they love us, they follow us to every game, they motivate us a lot.”
He says that his role model is Brian Umony and he also loves Dominic Calvert Lewin.
“I was inspired by Brian Umony, I picked motivation from Dominic Calvert Lewin because he joined Everton at a young age but his performance was good which gave me courage.”
He dons shirt number 29 at URA which he chose because it’s the same number that Calvert Lewin won at Everton by then.
Before joining URA FC, he had unsuccessful trials at BUL which he failed, and when he scored twice against the team, it stands out as his best moment.
“My best game for URA was against BUL FC last season when I scored a brace and I was named man of the match.
“Because before joining URA I first went to BUL FC for trials but I wasn’t selected, so I proved them that I was a good player.”