ISMAEL KIYONGA: My Best XI of the 2016-17 Uganda Premier League

© Kawowo Sports / AISHA NAKATO
KCCA celebrate after being handed the trophy at Lugogo

KCCA won their second successive title in 2016-17, comfortably finishing ahead of their rivals for the Uganda Premier league title.

It was KCCA’s 12th national championship victory, and one that surprised nobody with another convincing season at the top of the table.

Despite the predictable nature of the team finishing in first place, the battle for relegation provided plenty more variety, with Police, Kirinya Jinja SS, Bul and Bright Stars surviving the drop on the last day.

SC Villa failed to really challenge Mike Mutebi’s side partly because of lack goals until the January arrival of Emmanuel Okwi while Vipers, URA and Express made a false start to the campaign with abysmal performances in the first half of the season.

Nevertheless, save for the golden boot winner, Geoffrey Sserunkuma, there were no outstanding players from the Kasasiro and that’s reflected in my Team of the Season which is evenly spread over KCCA, Vipers and SC Villa.

Goalkeeper:

Ismail Watenga of Vipers Sports Club

Ismael Watenga (Vipers): In a campaign most Vipers’ players coiled, Watenga stood out. The goalkeeper has kept a record 14 clean sheets and was imperative in keeping his side in most of the games. He has been outstanding and beats his closest rivals, Thomas Ikaara (Kirinya Jinja SS) and Benjamin Ochan (KCCA) hands down.

Defenders

© Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE
Musa Mukasa battles for the ball with SC Villa’s Godfrey Lesibawa

Musa Mukasa (Express): The new Express FC skipper has been the Red Eagles’ most consistent player with a good display at right back. Mukasa’s game improvement has seen him not only defend well but also go forward nicely. Onduparaka’s Gasper comes close though.

© Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE
Vipers’ Halid Lwaliwa (R) contests for a ball with KCCA’s Paul Mucureezi

Halid Lwaliwa (Vipers): For the second successive season, the young defender makes the team thanks to his consistency.

Lwaliwa’s assuredness and command of the backline has been phenomenal and is one of the promising centre defenders in the country.

Courtesy
Habib Kavuma

Habib Kavuma (KCCA): What a season the experienced lad has had! The former left back turned central defender has been the one of the constants in Mike Mutebi’s changing team and rightly so.

His game reading and decision making have been fantastic and deserves a slot ahead of SC Villa’s duo of Henry Katongole and Paul Mbowa as well as Kirinya Jinja SS Kawooya who have also had a good season.

© Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE
Ambrose Kirya and John Adriko

John Adriko (SC Villa): Not so many left backs have had an outstanding season but Adriko edges the rest.

The young defender has been fearless both in defence and attack and beats the likes of Isaac Muleme (KCCA), Yayo Lutimba (Express) and Dan Birikwalira (Vipers) who have been in and out of their starting teams.

Midfielders

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Taddeo Lwanga has been a consistency performer for the Jogoos in midfield

Taddeo Lwanga (SC Villa): The ‘football engineer’ as nicknamed by the fans has been the heartbeat of SC Villa’s team.

An anchorman with the ability to win, retain and circulate the ball from deep, Lwanga has also spared time to get on the score sheet this season.

He is a commander who never gives up and perfectly deserves to be on the team of the season.

© Kawowo Sports | AISHA NAKATO
Saddam Juma and Halid Lwaliwa

Ibrahim Saddam Juma (Express): Not many gave him a chance when he joined the Red Eagles after being deemed surplus at Kitende but he has made them eat their words.

The midfield gem has been the inspiration behind the Eagles surge not only dictating the tempo in the midfield but also managed over seven goals for the club.

It’s no surprise that KCCA have broken the bank to have him at Lugogo ahead of their continental engagements.

© Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE
KCCA FC midfielder Muzamir Mutyaba is arguably the best creative midfielder in the league

Muzamiru Mutyaba (KCCA): The midfielder was the creative force behind KCCA’s good season going forward.

Mutyaba bagged more than eight assists this campaign and is a darling at Lugogo.

Forwards

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Geoffrey Sserunkuma trailed by Allan Okello

Geoffrey Sserunkuma (KCCA): His goals speak volumes and he becomes the first player since Herman Wasswa to net 20+ goals in a campaign with 21 goals.

His goals alone are worth 35.5 points of what the Kasasiro have managed this season.

© Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE
Emmanuel Okwi ceelbrates of one his goals

Emmanuel Okwi (SC Villa): The centre forward makes the team despite playing only 12 games in the campaign.

Okwi has the league’s best game to goal ratio after scoring 10 goals and is arguably one of the reasons the Jogoos mounted a serious title challenge. He makes the team ahead of the inconsistent Muhammad Shaban who was a no show in the second half of the season.

tony odur vipers vs kcca© Kawowo Sports / JOHN BATANUDDE
Striker Tony Odur returns to the Vipers’ side after missing the 2-1 loss to SC Villa on Saturday

Tonny Odur (Vipers): Odur has been phenomenal for the Venoms and arguably their best signing of the season.

The striker has netted 12 goals for the Vipers and ends the campaign 9 goals adrift of the golden boot winner.

He beats Proline’s Nelson Ssenkatuka for a slot on the team.

Best XI (4-3-3): Ismail Watenga (GK), Musa Mukasa, Halid Lwaliwa, Habib Kavuma, John Adriko, Saddam Juma, Taddeo Lwanga, Muzamiru Mutyaba, Tony Odur, Emmanuel Okwi and Geoffrey Sserunkuma.

© Kawowo Sports | AISHA NAKATO
Mike Mutebi

COACH – Mike Hilary Mutebi (KCCA)

KEY MENTIONS

Thomas Ikaara (Kirinya Jinja SS), Benjamin Ochan (KCCA), Gasper Adriko (Onduparaka), Paul Mucureezi (KCCA), Muhammad Shaban (Onduparaka), Deus Bukenya (Vipers), Gadafi Gadinho (Onduparaka), Isaac Kirabira (KCCA), Denis Okot (KCCA), Martin Kizza (SC Villa), Gift Ali (Proline), Shafik Kagimu (URA) and Julius Mutyaba (URA).

 

But do you agree with the selection, overall? Let the debate begin!

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