Charles Ayiekoh arrived at Maroons in Luzira over a week ago fired up, ready to fuel yet another club to some respectable heights.
He had done so with Kirinya-Jinja, now Busoga United, until the two parties fell out and he quit mid-last season.
At the time of leaving Kirinya last season, they were seventh on the StarTimes Uganda Premier League log (UPL). They had ended the previous season in fifth.
Now he arrives to rescue a Maroons side that are in a season-saving battle to stay up.
Ayiekoh’s first action in the dugout saw Maroons eliminated from the Uganda Cup following a 5-4 penalty defeat to Kyetume, just a couple of days after training with his new boys.
He missed Maroons superstar and league’s top striker Steven Mukwala, who was with the Cranes in their botched Chan championships preps at the time, for this one.
“I had just trained with the boys for two days,” Ayiekoh, 43, told Daily Monitor, “And after my research, and from the game, of course, I could see the fitness levels of my players were down.
“And, among other things, I figured when I first met them as a group and then individually is that they were divided.
“So we had to work out a way of addressing that and then I started on a fitness journey straight away, and then this (government directive against big gatherings) happened.”
Coronavirus halts plans
President Museveni last week banned sports events among several other measures meant to stop the spread of the coronavirus that has held the world captive.
“Now, like my other colleagues, here I am, with little or nothing to do regarding training. We had started working on the fitness, with gym and a few friendlies next but now we can’t.
“But I understand the President’s directive is all good... Safety first. It’s good for us. I gave my players a program to work with individually, you only hope they are disciplined enough to follow it.”
Ayiekoh says each of his players is supposed to do road work in the mornings and evenings.
“When the situation stabilises, we shall hopefully start from where we left.”
Ayiekoh has, among other clubs, previously coached at Soana (now Tooro United), Police, Nyamityobora and Vipers (then Bunnamwaya).
Just before he got the Maroons job, the then Kyadondo County coach had shared with Daily Monitor how he missed coaching in top-flight.
“I would like to be in the UPL because this is the only platform where a coach’s potential can be gauged,” he said.
Ayiekoh’s new side, Maroons, have five games to save their season. They are currently third from bottom in the UPL, with 24 points from 25 matches.
We will have to wait and see if the situation improves between now and April 20, when the 32-day provisional ban on mass gatherings ends, before Maroons resume their other Almighty battle.