How Soana fell in love with Tooro

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By ANDREW MWANGUHYA

KAMPALA- When Smart Obed sought to name his young football club over a decade ago, he saw it through two ways – business and fun.

He needed to do the football business and enjoy the fun that comes with it, as well as boost his Soana Investiments by associating the car company with the team.

And Soana Football Club was born – in 2007. The team were to be promoted early this decade, although their top flight has oscillated between surviving relegation and living to see another day.

Their Kavumba home ground in Wakiso sounded so in name, but in reality, there was hardly that much sense of belonging, where the 12th man helped you over the line.

Obed hails from Tooro, and the region has been starved of top flight football since Tooro FC last graced the stage over two decades ago.
The region’s sheer passion and hunger for the game has consistently manifested in numbers during schools football, Fufa Drum, and Cranes Namutima tours at Buhinga Stadium.

It is these scenes that had Obed ponder: “That showed me that we had finally found home,” he told Sunday Monitor, “I immediately started working on the process with Fufa and luckily, here we are as Tooro United.” Should the forecasts bear fruit, Tooro United are projected to be lifted on the pitch by fans and their gate collections to significantly improve. However, they will not be able to play their would-have-been home game against Kirinya-Jinja from Buhinga, as the stadium is still getting a facelift. Tooro United’s league game against Onduparaka is expected to be the first played at Buhinga.
“I have finished erecting the perimeter fence, now we are working on the dressing rooms,” confirmed Obed.

Tooro boast of experienced league players and in former SC Villa tactician Wasswa Bbosa, they have a coach knowledgeable enough to have them finish in respectable positions.

“We shall be fine,” said Bbosa after his side were edged by KCCA 2-1 in their league opener in Kampala last Friday, “We have what it takes. You could see that today.”

Winger Godfrey Lwesibawa, one of the half-dozen players Bbosa crossed with from Villa, is excited about moving to Fort Portal and expectant about the new season. “Everyone wants a fan base,” said Lwesibawa, “Tooro is a good environment.

“Previously, the players had no one to hold onto as their own. Now we can look forward to playing in front of our fans in Tooro.

“We want to finish as high as possible in the league and we have the players and coach and fans to do that.” Lwesibawa is a national team player. But not that one. “I’m already a national team player in beach soccer but I’m working hard to also make it to Uganda Cranes.

“I want to go professional because it seems to me that national team coaches tend to focus more on those that play out of the country.” But first, Tooro need your decisive help on the pitch, Mr. Lwesibawa.

TOORO UNITED

Founded: 2007 (as Soana, rebranded
rebranded this season)
Home ground: Buhinga Stadium
Club proprietor: Smart Obed
Chairman: Peter Emojong
CEO: Moses Tumusiime
Head coach: Wasswa Bbosa
Assistant coach: Eric Ndifuna
Goalkeeping coach: Abu Kigenyi
Team doctor: Aloysious Makubuya
Club captain: Willy Kavuma
Club sponsor: Soana Investments Ltd

Full squad for 2018/19
Medie Kibirige, Joel Mutakubwa, Nantamu Mike, Mubiru Isa, Musa Mukasa, Ibrahim Ayub Kizza, Timothy Musinguzi, Mike Kawooya, Nicholas Fredrick Kigozi, Isa Lumu, Eddie Ruhweza, Simon Sserunkuma, Paddy Muhumuza, Yaya Mahad Kakooza, Steven Luswata, John Byamukama ‘Toki’, Willy Kavuma, Godfrey Lwesibawa, Joshua Kalisa, Steven Luswata, Simon Okwil, Davis Ssali, Moses Kirumira, Allan Kayiwa, Baker Buyala, Steven Omvia, Alex Ssemuyaba.

PLAYERS IN
Michael Nantamu (JMC), Isa Lumu, Mukasa Musa, Yaya Mahad Kakooza, Simon Sserunkuma, Alex Ssemuyaba, Godfrey Lwesibawa (all SC Villa), Fredrick Kigozi (Water), Steven Luswata (Express), Joshua Karisa (Katwe United), Steven Omvia (Simba FC), Moses Kirumira (Tooro Junior team), John Byamukama Toki (Bumata)

PLAYERS OUT
Nyanzi Abduallah (URA),

Pate Wanok (Paidha)

Monitor.co.ug

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