DAVID ISABIRYE: My 2016-17 FUFA Big League Best XI

A couple of weeks ago, 2015-17 FUFA Big League climaxed with the playoffs held at the Mutesa II Stadium Wakulukuku and Phillip Omondi Stadium.

Since September 2016, the league, divided into two groups – Elgon and Rwenzori, was played.

Masavu topped the Rwenzori Group as Maroons did in the Elgon group.

Mbarara City won the playoffs, edging Synergy 2-1 in a closely contest promotional finale at Lugogo.

Kawowo Sports’ David Isabirye keenly followed the entire league and here are his best players through out the season

Muhammad Ssekeba (Goalkeeper) – Mbarara City

The Mbarara City shot stopper is a born and bred product of Tanda town, found in Katabi sub country near Entebbe Municipality.

© Kawowo Sports | DAVID ISABIRYE
Ndejje University’s Anwar Ntege attacks Mbarara City’s goalie Muhammed Ssekeba at Wankulukuku on Thursday

Silent off the field of play, Ssekebba’s action and reaction once in between the goal posts emit the loudest volume.

He is a young goalkeeper definitely with a lot to learn but was key in Mbarara City’s promotion to the Uganda Premier League.

He beats Maroons’ Emmanuel Akol and Masavu’s Yusuf Wasswa to the slot.

Stuart Mwesigwa (Airtel – Kitara)

Contemporary football right backs are tasked with two roles – to defend and attack in equal measure.

Mwesigwa did exactly that to perfection throughout the season.

He defended well with timely stop for many crafty left footers he encountered in the league.

At the same time, Mwesigwa offered the numbers up front whenever the team was in attack.

Yusuf Najib (Artland-Kamuli Park)

Solid and has the ball sense. He easily beat Masavu’s Hakim Ssekitto to the slot for his ability to read the game to perfection, offer leadership to  the team and assist in attack as well.

Allan Anguyo (Maroons)

Elegant and a good game reader. He was awesome with excellent ball clearances, timely stops and a good team player.

Brian Nsubuga (Masavu)

FUFA Media
Micho holds the hands of Masavu defender Brian Nsubuga during a session at Namboole ahead of the previous regional tour in the East at Kamuli

Agile, solid and composed, the lanky Nsubuga mastered the defenders’ basics right.

He was elegant with tackles, as well as with well timed head and feet clearances.

Excellent game reading was yet another attribute that Nsubuga had over the rest in the department.

Moses Sseruyidde (Kira United)

He has the natural footballing brains, can tackle and pass the ball without any difficulties.

Sseruyidde’s ability to ghost late runs to the opposition half, awesome positional defence and splendid passing of the ball easily dwarf his small bodied structure.

Solomon Walusimbi (Maroons)

Kawowo Sports
Walusimbi (number 17) with teammates celebrate with the trophy at the Phillip Omondi stadium in Lugogo

Whose team can ever be complete without a crafty player as Solomon Walusimbi?

He is a rare species able to play the wall pass without selfishness, he dribbles where it necessitates and shots at free will when required.

Though he featured prominently in the second half of the season, Walusimbi’s combo with Pius Obuya, Ronald Orombi and Patrick Kaddu was as though stamped by parliament and authoritatively passed by the head of a sovereign state.

He remains one of those blessed players that Uganda and close associates of football should be proud of and jealously copy – right from all evils as well as enemies of humanity,  football inclusive.

Pius Obuya (Maroons)

© Kawowo Sports | DAVID ISABIRYE
Pius Obuya in training at the Phillip Omondi stadium, Lugogo

After completing his A-Level studies last November at the mighty St Mary’s Kitende, Obuya had a crossed mind.

He preferred to depart Maroons for KCCA or Vipers Sports Club. He was convinced to respect the binding ‘contract’ and agreement he had penned at Maroons a few years ago.

He stayed at the Luzira side and the decision paid off handsomely for him and his dear fans.

He played in most games for Asaph Mwebaze’s side in the second half of the season.

Unlike his traditional left wing role, he was assigned as a roving forward with free-role to maneuver every department.

We saw the best in the former Uganda U-17 player. He is a true footballing gem.

What he misses on stature is fully compensated by the deft touch on the ball. He unlocked many tight padlocks for the opposition with swift ball distribution antics and crucial goals for the club.

Brian Aheebwa (Mbarara City)

Kawowo Sports
Brian Aheebwa (left) of Mbarara City tackled by Ndejje University player

He is an orthodox center forward many the the contemporary football setting is steadily getting rid of.

Aheebwa has every justification to be on this team. First things first: He scored the goals that center forwards are primarily to do.

Secondly, he was a team player with an enviable work ethic equated to a ‘heated up’ queen bee in a very populated bee hive.

Aheebwa’s 15 goals for the season make a bold statement for him.

Patrick Kaddu (Maroons)

Kaddu is a proven goal poacher and possesses a diligence codes compared to that a desert ostrich.

Once in a while, he pulled off defenders to receive the ball, could take on opponents like a rally car in a circuit and break at blistering pace to score the easiest of goals.

He converted penalties, tap-ins and shot at will. His 16 goals in the regular season and one in the playoff finale coupled by the comical dance in celebrations excited many, yours truly inclusive.

Ddumba Sadala (Masavu)

256 Sports
Masavu players celebrate a goal in the FUFA Big League

Sadala is blessed with the efficient use of either feet to perfection.

In fact, he has often left many debating which foot is strong as he easily dribbles and shots with a rocket force with the two legs.

The former Vipers and Entebbe forward is part of the reason for Masavu’s splendid second round performance at a time the club struggled for form.

After an injury lay off following a first round match in Mbarara, Sadda, as he is fondly known by many returned so strongly with vital assists and goals alike.

In the second half of the season alone, he scored crucial goals for Masavu off set pieces and open play when Kenneth Tumusiime, Charles Odeke and Peter Lumolo failed to click.

Team manager: Asaph Mwebaze (Maroons)

Kawowo Sports
Mwebaze gets his winners medal at the closing ceremony

Understands the game well. His vast knowledge and experience helped Maroons to champion the entire FUFA Big League.

Assistant team manager: Allan Kabonge (Masavu)

© Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE
Allan Kabonge

He is lucky and loves the game. He made history by ensuring Masavu gets promoted with three games to go.

His only blemish is the suspect conduct that needs urgent revision.

Goalkeeping coach: Yusuf ‘Shiek’  Ssenyonjo

He runs an academy of goalkeepers in Entebbe.

On every day of training since September 2016, he would turn up for training as early as 4 hours before the official Masavu training sessions.

He loves his job.

Trainer: Yusuf Kyambadde Mutenda

He was a darling to watch during his playing days. As a lover of the swift play format, Kyambadde preaches exactly that to the players he manages. He is punctual, organized and disciplined.

Special mentions:

Saddam Kazindula (Artland-Kamuli Park, left winger), Sabir Nesta (Paidha Black Angels, defender), Emmanuel Akol (Maroons, Goalkeeper), Onesmas Andama (Masavu, central midfielder), Eddy Kapampa (Maroons, right back), Innocent Hashashya (Entebbe, midfielder), Patrick Kuserermererwa (Sun City, defender), Herbert Billy ‘Counsel’ Alinda (Airtel-Kitara, forward), Yusuf Wasswa (Masavu – Goalkeeper), Juubu Malangu (Busia Fisheries, Striker), Kenneth Tumusiime (Masavu, forward), Henry Kiwanuka (Masavu, Midfield), Makweth Wol (Mbarara City, Striker)