Tuesday February 7, 2017
Vipers vs Lweza, Namboole
Express vs Saints, Wankulukuku
KCCA vs BUL, Lugogo
URA vs JMC, Lugazi
Police vs Sadolin, Nakivubo
Jinja SSS vs Soana, Kakindu
Bright Stars vs SC Villa, Matugga
Proline vs Onduparaka, Lugogo
The Azam Uganda Premier League (UPL) second round gets underway this Tuesday with clubs carrying renewed conviction about their 2017/18 credentials.
Below we look at how different teams have prepared for the second round.
KCCA go for youth
Champions and table leaders KCCA were expected to beef up the side with new signings in the January transfer window as Mike Mutebi’s outfit prepared for the Caf Champions League, as well as the title defence.
Instead, Mutebi has opted to rebuild by promoting six academy players. Allan Okello, Herbert Achai, Mustafa Kizza, Peter Magambo, Noel Nasasira and Julius Poloto will all now feature for the senior team. Likewise, KCCA have had to create space for these youngsters by loaning out Martin Mpuuga, Paul Willa, Brian Ochwo, Hakim Senkumba and Yasin Mugume to Police.
The 11-time league champions kick their second round off by hosting Bul at Lugogo.
Okwi returns to Villa
Emmanuel Okwi returns from Denmark to his childhood club to help bolster SC Villa’s striking options.
The 16-time champions have also brought in KJT product Sula Luzige from Swedish club Aryd and former Lweza left back Farouk Musisi, as well as Burundian goalkeeper Arthur Arakaza.
This had to see Villa let go of playmakers Mike Sserumaga and Abdul-Karim Kasule.
Vipers start new life at St Mary’s
The two-time Ugandan champions still have a few things to do before they can host continental games at their new St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende.
But they begin new life at the said stadium, which is still under construction, in the domestic league this week. Current coach Richard Wasswa, in for Abdallah Mubiru – now Police FC tutor – has welcomed back Mike Serumagga from Villa, as well as added Milton Karisa, Moses Waiswa, Aziz Kemba, Derrick Ochan, Francis Onekaliti and Asiku Bashir.
Wasswa is charged with to lifting fourth-placed Vipers to a third league title whilst impressing in the Caf Confederations Cup. Bashir Mutanda, Collins Agaba, Joseph Ssemujju, William Wadri, John Semazzi, Nasir Mbabali, Benjamin Nyakoojo and Alex Komakech are the players that have been released.
Express in near-complete overhaul
The Red Eagles coach, Matia Lule, returns to a difficult job of ensuring Express add to their six league titles.
He marked his return by axing at least eight players including Rogers Lukwiya, Isaac Sserunkuma, Richard Kigozi, Ivan Mutumba, Ali Kigundu, Yafesi Mubiru, Muhammad Kayongo and Bob Kasozi.
These have been replaced by Muhammad Ochaya, Rashid Nsubuga, Dan Otto, Sulaiman Jingo, Juma Ssebaduka, Fahad Katongole, Remy Makumbi, Vincent Onyebuchi, Didie Jean, Remy Makumbi and Nadir Muhammad.
URA desperate to get going
The tax collectors struggled all through the first round and are desperate to hit the ground running on Tuesday when they welcome JMC. URA coach Kefa Kisala managed to bring back striker Hamis ‘Diego’ Kiiza and midfielder Saidi Kyeyune to rescue the wrecked ship.
On the flipside, they have lost the services of trusted goalkeeper Allan Owiny to Kenya. Bright Stars youngster Cleo Ssetuba has been brought in as cover. Striker Villa Oromchan has also left six-placed URA.
Onduparaka hold onto their stars
Onduparaka were supposed to struggle in their debut top flight league season. Instead, they ended the first round in third position. As they start their second round away to Proline on Wednesday, Onduparaka will look back and pat themselves for holding onto their key players like Muhammad Shaban, Rashid Toha and Gaddafi Gadinho.
Coach Livingstone Mbabazi has actually added Geoffrey Lwo (Gor Mahia), Fahad Toko (Villa – loan) and Isma Babu (Seychelles) to their ranks to show they mean business.
Radical changes elsewhere
Bottom side Kirinya Jinja SSS have axed Kowa Ngobi, David Kizza, Johnson Wakalaita and Edward Kakembo. They have equalled the action by bringing in Hannington Kalyesubula, Solomon Mbowa, Moses Kamya, Ivan Lubaale, John Ssemazzi, George Senkaaba, Isaac Ntege, Collins Agaba, Briase Anthony and Bashir Mutanda.
Struggling Bul have also signed Brian Bwete and Eric Dhaira and released; Salim Wekiya, Emmanuel Kalyowa, Hassan Musana, Deo Othieno, Andrew Kalule, Richard Ariu, Julius Malingumu, Jonathan Katende, Edgar Luzige, Bronson Sserumira Augustine Nsumba and Milton Karisa.
Bright Stars have welcomed striker Yafesi Mubiru, goalkeeper Emma Kalyowa, midfielder Ssemere Derrick and Jakech Samson after losing playmaker Baker Lukooya to Soana.