Friday April 8 2011

Coach Butindo backs Umony to come good

Coach Butindo backs Umony to come good

Umony had little playing time at South African side SuperSport. PHOTO: EDDIE CHICCO.  

By Andrew Mwanguhya

Renowned youth football trainer Eddie Butindo believes the two years striker Brian Umony spent in South Africa were “wasted ones.”

Umony joined SuperSport from KCC in June 2009 for Shs106m and went on to score four goals in 14 appearances in his first season, six of them as a substitute.

But due to limited playing time, the 24-year-old moved to Pretoria Tuks University on loan the following season from where Major League Soccer side Portland Timbers secured his signature on a year’s non-permanent deal recently.

The frustrating and inconsistent run, Butindo says, has greatly hindered Umony’s progress.

“Umony single-handedly carried the Kyambogo University team against all the rest, on top of lifting KCC (scoring 20 league goals) in continental competition,” said Butindo, also the institution’s trainer.

“He has the hallmarks of a great striker. He is humble, talented and one of the best strikers in the country,” added the Friends of Football and KKL tutor.

“But his move to SuperSport did him more damage than good. The time there was wasted. The foreign policy in South Africa also didn’t favour him and his talent suffered under home-grown players being prioritised.

“In fact, all of them. Goalkeepers Benjamin Ochan and Dennis Onyango have also been victims. Ochan led KCC to a championship here but when he went to Bloemfontein, all was gone.

“Same as Onyango. Onyango is better than all the goalkeepers at SuperSport and Mpumalanga, where he is now, but South Africans are always favoured ahead of him.”

Fifa demand that a club must start a match with at least six players eligible for the national team of the country in which the club is based.

“But I’ve been talking to Umony and telling him this is his time. He now has playing time at Portland and I can tell you, we are going to see the Umony we all know, again.”

Umony has already played two league games for Timbers and scored one goal in pre-season.

He will again be in action next Thursday when Timbers entertain Chichago Fire in the MLS.

The Ugandan striker will be intent on impressing his new employers with a goal as the Oregon side seek their first victory in the league. Timbers lost their first two and drew their last.

Umony has scored eight goals in 10 appearances for Uganda Cranes.