Juma Balinya is one of Police coach Abdallah Mubiru’s go-to men, and as the Cops enter yet another football season, he will surely have something to say. The attacking midfielder is aware how sparkling their season started last campaign before disintegrating, but believes they are better prepared this time.
“We are satisfied with our preseason preparations,” said striker Balinya, “We have had good friendly matches and done well especially against big clubs like Vipers and URA.
“So we are looking forward to the new season with a lot of positivity.
“Just like last season, we are coming to fight for the two trophies (League and Uganda Cup) and we will see what happens in May.”
How about his personal ambitions? “Personally I want this season to be my best season and am working very hard and looking forward to having good games and score some goals. At least 15 goals.” Yet we cannot talk about Police on the pitch and ignore their documented administrative shortfalls.
Police started last season like the house on fire, topping the table for long spells.But player unpaid salaries and broken promises soon manifested on the pitch as the cops collapsed in the second half of the season to finish outside the top five.
“Administrative issues affected us last season but yes, we have been given assurance that what happened last season won’t happen again this season.”
Balinya started his career at Vipers as a teenager from St Mary’s Kitende, then connected to AS Port in Djibouti.
The midfielder later returned to Lweza FC before joining the cops. Balinya and Police are working upwards, but he, too, acknowledges it could be harder this season as most “teams have prepared well this time round.”
Coach Abdallah Mubiru’s men were also engaged in their own transfer dealings, losing Rahmat Senfuka to Vipers notwithstanding. Defender Martin Mpuuga also returned to Maroons.
But they also pulled off some decent signings in Ashraf Mugume, Hassan Kalega (all Vipers), Johnson Odong (Kibuli United), Sylvester Ssemakula (Nyendo Diamonds) and Amir Malugoda (Buddo SS). Proline’s long serving player Simon Mbazira is another experienced addition.
Home ground: StarTimes Stadium
Club chairperson: AIGP Asan Kasingye
CEO: ASP Francis Kidega Francis
Technical Manager: CP Arinaitwe PK
Head coach: Abdallah Mubiru
Assistant coach: John Luyinda
Goalkeeping coach: James Magala
Kitman: Lawrence Senyomo
Team doctor: AIP Musanyi Amza
Pysio: Ssenyondo Muhamoud
Club captain: Sadat Kyambadde
Club sponsors: Uganda Police Force