Selection headache awaits Coach Morley Byekwaso as the tactician braces for his first full season in charge of KCCA FC.
The gaffer has a couple of good players at his disposal and the versatility in the team has left him with plenty of options in most departments.
The curtains have come down on the transfer window and the side has added in some new signings, but plenty have been shown the exit door.
Most pundits will be asking the club fans and management to give Byekwaso more time but the Uganda Hippos coach knows that he has to figure out his cards right and as early as he can, to send the club back to where they belong.
The goalkeeping department looks all but sorted; Benjamin Ochan will surely beat Derrick Ochan and Ali Mwirusi given his experience, command, communication and shot stopping.
Mwirusi will be comfortable being an understudy, while Derrick Ochan will be pushing for some good minutes thanks to his progress and ability.
The defence, is where the headache starts from. This team is gifted with about six defenders who can start at almost in every club in the league. Doubts still linger about the fitness and shape of John Revita who has been out for a whole season due to an injury but at his best, he is a national team material. Peter Magambo and Musa Ramathan were rock solid last season despite some school boy errors here and there. Denis Iguma, Herbert Achai and Geoffrey Wasswa can be deployed in the midfield and the same can be said of the fullbacks of Innocent Wafula and Brian Majwega who may be used as wingbacks.
The Midfield looks too heavy as well. Gift Ali and Ashraf Mugume will be constants, the latter, after Bright Anukani’s departure, will seek to move way up the pitch. Emmanuel Alex Wasswa is a good destroyer. Yasser Mugerwa’s experience will be vital, but may not be a starter. Julius Poloto will play from the outside. And there are buzzing youngsters in there like Usama Arafat, Dominic Ayella, Andrew Kawooya, Elvis Mwanje among others.
Who will lead the line? Charles Lwanga scored 11 goals last season, just one ahead of Sam Ssenyonjo. The trio of Brian Aheebwa, Brian Kayanja and Sadat Anaku had seven goals each. Davis Kasirye has not been a popular signing and he will seek to use that as an advantage to prove doubters wrong.
But which formation?
With the availability of many reputable centre backs, Coach Byekwaso will go for a three-man defence on most occasions. This is a good option to consider given the two bombarding wing backs in Brian Majwega and Innocent Wafula.
As a caution, the gaffer may start with a 4-4-2 because it is easy to understand and implement. He used it in CECAFA Kagame Cup, and given some players may not be fit enough to start the season.
Here are some of the ways KCCA FC may lineup (not official shirt numbers):
KCCA FC Squad for 2021/22 Season (* – new signings:
Goalkeepers – Ali Mwirusi, *Derrick Ochan, *Benjamin Ochan
Defenders – Ibrahim Juma, *Innocent Wafula, *Geoffrey Wasswa, John Revita, *Brian Majwega, Jurua Hassan, Denis Iguma, Achai Herbert, Musa Ramathan, Peter Magambo
Midfielders – *Yasser Mugerwa, *Emmanuel Alex Wasswa, Ashraf Mugume, Samson Kigozi, Gift Ali, Andrew Kawooya, *Usama Ararat, *Mato Rogers, Julius Poloto, Joseph Kizza Bukenya, Dominic Ayella, Elvis Mwanje
Forwards – Charles Lwanga, *Brian Kayanja, Sadat Anaku, Brian Aheebwa, Samuel Ssenyonjo, *Davis Kasirye
Players who left: Kalanzi Moses, Keziron Kizito, Filbert Obenchan, Bright Anukani, Kafumbe Joseph, Balinya Juma, Moses Aliro, Kato Samuel, Musana Hassan, Matovu Hassan, Sserwadda Steven and Lukwago Charles.