Kampala- Newcomers in national championships often inevitably dominate relegation debates for the season of focus.
Consequently, Nyamityobora, Paidha Black Angels and Ndejje University – the StarTimes Uganda Premier League (SUPL) new entrants for the 2018/19 season – will have to live with that association until they shake it off themselves.
The three all lost their opening round of matches to Onduparaka, URA, and reigning champions Vipers respectively.
All of them had their kick-offs delayed because a good chunk of their players failed to beat their licensing deadline, hardly the best preparation tactic.
On the part of the club in focus for this article, Nyamityobora; at least five of their starters were by 2pm – two and a half hours before they lost 2-0 to Onduparaka on Friday – not licensed.
“So the players didn’t have the mental focus,” narrated Nyamityobora coach James Odoch, “Mentally, because of the licensing issue, we were not prepared and that cost us the game.”
As if that was not enough, Nyamityobora will play their first home matches away at Express’ Wankulukuku Stadium as Kakyeka in Mbarara is still being fixed to meet minimum required standards to host a Premier League game.
That means it should have a green surface, perimeter fence and dressing rooms.
“Of course we would love to play in front of our home fans but for now, that is the situation,” reluctantly admitted Odoch. But at least one thing Odoch, who is remembered for one of the hardest and most powerful shots in the local game during his playing days, is certain of is his and club’s targets in the top flight debut season.
“Staying in the league,” he said without further ado, “It’s got to be staying up. We are a new club in this and we have to be honest with ourselves.
“The licensing issue and the stadium back home not being ready have not done us any good for our start.
“But once all this is fixed, I can tell you I have a good squad to achieve our objectives.”
To help him and Nyamityobora get close to those objectives is Cameroonian recruit Kalvin Tah Barni, a defender who has spent one year in Uganda playing for a regional side in Buganda.
Alex Komakech, an U17 left back, is one other exciting player Odoch hopes to continue nurturing while Gonahasa Patrick from Maroons completes the few notable arrivals.
Home ground: Wankulukuku
CEO: Ivan Kakembo
Manager: Sulait Makumbi
Coach: James Odoch
Trainer: Juma Ssekyizivu
Technical director Antonio Flores
Club captain: Henry Wamala
President: Ben Immanuel Misagga
Patron: Ali Ssekatawa