Stanbic Pirates coach Bobby Musinguzi has on a number of occasions described the Nile Special Stout Premiership campaign as one of a “solidifying the unit’s partnerships that we have been building over the season.”
And Saturday’s 39-9 bonus point win over Plascon Mongers at Kings Park shrugged off Monger’s challenge for third spot with Stephen Alul emerging man of the match for the umpteenth time.
Pirates secured Alul’s signature from Toyota Buffaloes and they have a reason to feel he has been worth every penny in his debut season.
“Alul has been vital for us in the absence Ivan Magomu (school), Conrad Wanyama (work), Timothy Kisiga (injury) and Haruna Mohammed (injury),” says Musinguzi.
“Our depth at scrum half, fly half and full back was really stretched. In Steve, we got a quality, experienced and yet young player who can martial plays at these pivotal positions. He’s understanding of the game is impeccable and fits well with the Pirates way of playing of rugby,” he added.
Musinguzi and Alul share the same script.
“They (Pirates) play my kind of game. They run the ball and I thought I would easily fit in which has been the case,” Alul said when asked why he chose to go against the conventional route of Buffaloes to Heathens even after the latter expressed interest in signing him.
Exploring new things
Alul also cites his desire for change in environment for choosing Pirates over Heathens.
“I had spent my entire life at Kyadondo yet I wanted change to explore new things,” he says.
He already feels at home and appreciated by his teammates and fans. “Life is good and there is sense of belonging because of the love and friendship here.”
The utility back thinks Desire Ayera is the best player in the country although he looks up to Ivan Markmot for inspiration.
“Markmot keeps teaching me more about the game and tells me where I should do better,” says the humble pint sized player.
Despite walking away from Kyadondo, it will always be home. League leaders Heathens are in pole position to land a 15th league title but losses to Kobs and Pirates in their recent outings could reshape the race, and Alul would not mind spoiling Heathens’ party despite his love for them.
“They are my brothers and I love them but I’m now a Pirate and will be out to beat them when the day comes,” he says with a cheeky smile.
While many think Alul has been Pirates’ shining star, he thinks he’s not yet done and next year could be when he moves heads.