Bobosi Byaruhanga might exude all the qualities to create superlatives in tongues of footbally analysts but his trainer at league champions are even bolder in their assessment of the teenage utility player’s talent.
Edward Ssali, who also works on St Mary’s Kitende’s technical team, has claimed that Byaruhanga is one of the most naturally talented midfielders of his age – and can blossom into the “next Edgar Watson.”
“To me, Bobosi has some attributes of Edgar Watson. He has a passing range similar to Edgar’s. His eye for picking out a killer pass to strikers marks him for great things to come,” Ssali said.
Watson, the current Fufa chief executive, was a towering figure in Villa’s most dominant years in the late 90s to early 2000s.
The former Villa captain was a defensive lynchpin and the comparisons would leave many confused, but those who was have seen what the 19-year-old offers in different midfield positions would have little qualms giving the youngster the benefit of the doubt.
True, talented youngsters are always the subject of hype. Several wonderkids have been anointed as the next big thing this season, including Abdu Karim Watambala (Vipers), KCCA duo of Sadat Anaku and Steven Sserwadda, Stephen Mukwala (Maroons), Hakim Kiwanuka (Proline), Ivan Eyamu (Mbarara City), Ivan Wani, Jerome Kirya and Isma Mugulusi (all Busogoa United), Hassan Ssenyonjo (Wakiso Giants), Joackim Ojera (URA) and (URA) and Garvin Kizito (Villa).
But at champions Vipers, the 2019/2020 season has shone a to-watch spotlight on Byaruhanga, a player Ssali encouraged to leave Standard High School, Zzana, for St Mary’s Kitende in 2017, the feeder school for Vipers.
Ssali said Byaruhanga is still adapting to life in the top flight following his promotion from the school team, but he is convinced the midfielder will soon show even Uganda Cranes fans his talent.
Spotted during inter-class competitions, his start in the game has been punctuated with many commas. He missed the 2017 Copa Coca-Cola finals in Masaka after Standard High Zzana objected to his move to Kitende.
He was released in time for the East African games in Gulu, which he won with Kitende before exploding in the Mbarara finals in 2018. But he played under painkillers for most of 2019 edition in Jinja, which Kitende won.
This season, Byaruhanga has given Edward Golola and later Fred Kajoba the flexibility any coach would crave for.
“I have definitely had to learn many things. I love football because it has provided for me and my mother,” Byaruhanga said. “I’m adjusting to the culture in the league but I’m happy because I know most of the players in the team from school.”
Though an attacking midfielder, his versatility has seen him deployed in defence and the defensive midfield roles. His game reading vision saw him contribute seven assists to Fahad Bayo.
Byaruhanga missed the opening three league games due to licensing issues but went ahead to make 12 starts – only missing the 3-1 loss to URA and the 5-0 drubbing of Maroons while sitting his A-Level exams.