Umony, Kiiza: Friends turned foes
Posted Sunday, February 10 2013 at 02:00
Soccer. The two strikers have linked up in Tanzania with both intent on lifting this year’s Vodacom Premier League, but with different entities.
They have turned out together for Uganda Cranes and even lifted a trophy together.
Brian Umony and Hamis ‘Diego’ Kiiza played themselves and Uganda to the country’s unprecedented 13th Cecafa title last December after beating Kenya’s Harambee Stars 2-1 in the final. But Umony, who had a short stint at his former KCC club late last year after his time in Vietnam had ended, has now moved to Tanzania just in time to hit scoring charts with his compatriot Kiiza.
And just in time for another Ugandan to be on the charts after Simba’s Emmuanel Okwi switched to Tunisia’s Etoile Du Sahel. But just like Okwi during his Simba time, Azam’s Umony will be fighting for honours, not with Young’s Kiiza, but against.
“When it comes to the club,” Umony, who is just back from Rwanda after a friendly with Cranes, told Sunday Monitor. “Mine and Diego’s is a purely professional relationship. We are rivals but also good friends. I’m happy to have joined him in Tanzania but we will keep it professional.”
Kiiza, 22, is equally excited at Umony’s arrival. “I’m very happy he came and am looking forward to that game when we take on his team. It will be interesting.”
Asked about the prospects of meeting Kiiza in an opposite shirt, Umony, 25, was nonchalant. “We will have to meet in the league either way, so I’m just looking forward to the game.”
Young host Azam in the league on February 23, the first time Umony and Kiiza, who is in his second season with the former, will come up against each other in Dar es Salaam.
After 15 games, Young lead standings with 33 points while Azam are second with three points less.
Both players have started the VPL second round well, scoring a goal each in two games, with Umony boasting three assists.
“I’m gelling with my teammates,” said Umony, “The coach has made it clear how he wants us to play. So it’s been quite a good transition for me.
“Of course we can’t be perfect; there is always room for improvement. The ambitions of the club are to win the league, to do well in the Confederations Cup, and other local cups. I’m in line with that.”
Kiiza’s first goal of the second round, his fifth of the season, came last weekend when he came off the bench to grab the equaliser in the 1-1 draw with Mtibwa Sugar.