The emergency of Hilary Mukundane and Paul Mucureezi among other players from Western Uganda has started to contrast with the common belief that talent comes from East and Northern part of Uganda only.
Westland Sports Agency, a new talent management agency, has vowed to splendidly uplift talent in Bushenyi and greater Western Uganda in general through identifying, developing, managing and representing the players at the highest level.
“I have been involved in Ugandan football for some good years,” Jonasan Tibatiina Tumuhaise who does Intermediary work for the Agency told The-SportsNation.
Tibatiina is the brain behind Western Regional League side Six O’Clock FC and holds a CAF B coaching license.
He explains: “There are many talented young boys in the West but getting opportunities has been the main challenge.”
“There has been a big gap in the area in terms of Sports Agency and when an opportunity presented itself through FUFA courses in September last year, I had to pursue one to get a license.
“As the law goes, an agent is not supposed to coach so I found it right to form an Agency – Westland Sports Agency.”
Tibatiina says that by start of next year, they will have a well established Academy for kids between 12 to 18, with the graduates automatically getting a place at Six O’clock FC.
“The Problem these kids face in the West is exposure and lack of structures. If they are identified at a late stage, they will not go anywhere.
“We want to partner with schools like Ryakasinga, St Kaggwa, Mbarara High, UNIK etc that have invested strongly in talent development. And we can liaise with other big schools in Central region like Buddo, St Mary’s, Zzana etc as well.”
The partnership with schools and the presence of an academy will provide the young kids with the right structures for talent development.
Tibatiina adds: “Here, you will find that a 14-year old is competing with a 20-year old which is not right in any sense.”
“The absence of facilities have partly made it difficult for our players to prosper abroad. Our rugged pitches have limited the young kids to develop at a required rate, so the players leave the country without mastering the basic like ball control.”
Tibatiina says that the major problems they have identified so far is absence of data on players and coaches masquerading as agents, the issues that they are ready to address.
“Football is an expensive venture, we are still a growing Agency but we want to provide guidance through various Workshops, Training kits, funding trials among others,” he adds.
“We are very passionate and committed about the game and we believe that in the next five years, we are confident that we should have produced the most talked about player in the country.”
He has urged top clubs to respect the importance of academies and embrace the role of a football agent. “Most clubs see agents as stumbling blocks for their deals. They hate us like hell. The moment they get to know that a player has an agent, they quickly reduce the interest.”
Tibatiina says that an Agency is a structured process that will at times prohibit coaches from doing their underground dirty work.
He has also asked fellow Agents not exploit the players; “You will find an Agent take like Sh30m from Sh40m as sign-on fee for a player which is a disservice to the players. As Agents, we are not supposed to take more than 15%. Many players have signed contracts without clearly understanding what they are signing for, but as Westland, we want to give good representation to the players.”
Villa Oromchan, David Ojok, Collins Agaba, Ronald Turyamusiima and Jacob Kamwesigwa are some of the players registered under Westland Sports Agency.
“Any player to sign with us, he must be professional,” Tibatiina concludes.