Abdallah Ssenyonga is certainly one tailored for the future.
The gifted forward has what it takes to make it at the top echelon of Ugandan football and paid ranks, only if he can keep his head above the smoldering flatteries he has attracted in this year’s Copa Coca-Cola schools tourney in Masaka.
Forgive the hullaballoo about the lad’s scoring instincts; he is a real prospect – at just 16.
Ssenyonga’s unassailable 16 goals carried St Julian Gayaza out of a complex group that included heavyweights old Kampala, Ryakasinga, Green Hill and Kakungulu Memorial yet it is his six-goal heroics against Kijamolo that cemented his name in the tourney’s folklore.
“I wanted to score 20 in this competition but I was deprived of supply against Nakaseke,” the teenager, who admires Vipers forward Mike Sserumaga and Barcelona ace Lionel Messi, said after his school was ejected 1-0 by a physical Nakaseke international at the round of 16 stage on Wednesday.
Born to score
The senior four candidate has already started on his career journey that will probably get him to his dream local club Villa and later making it to professional ranks.
He features for Buganda Region side Bombo United and has scored one goal in two games – the limited match time coming off a busy school schedule.
Even before he set the Copa tourney alight, Ssenyonga – raised by a single mother Aisha Nassozi in Nakasongola – had attracted the attention of Uganda premier League side Bul FC.
“I want to thank my partner James Kaggwa for providing me with scoring chances and I’m sure next year I will bag the golden boot,” Ssenyonga said. Kibuli’s Moses Aliro (12) was still in contention to depose Ssenyonga by press time.
While youth talent scout Henry Muvawala helped the net buster through the formative years at Lukomera Parents, Rhinos SS, Naluvule College, it is veteran tactician Benedicto Namalego (St Julian coach) who is now nurturing Ssenyonga into a finished product he aims to be.
“He is a natural born striker who can thrive either as lone striker or with a partner. Soon many top clubs will be fighting for his signature,” said Namalego, who has unearthed many talented players like URA winger Erukana Nkugwa.
Without doubt, Ssenyonga is treading the scoring path of Tony Odur, Muhammad Shaban, Augustine Nsumba and Anthony Bongole who tore scoring records in the past Copa tourneys.
To St Julian director Jeff Sserunjogi, he is ready to fend off any potential bids from giants Kitende and Kibuli; “We are building a strong team for the future, and we want him to be our lead protagonist.”