There have been moments this season when the pained look on the face of Express FC supremo, Kiryowa Kiwanuka has betrayed a mixture of annoyance and concern. Take the derby loss against SC Villa when the Red Eagles strayed into punch-bag territory. There was genuine fear that Kefa Kisala would not showcase the right mix of contrition and charm to gradually win back Kiwanuka’s approval.
And so it turned out to be.
Few were surprised when, lacking in pretension, Kiwanuka’s mask of compassion finally slipped off this past week. It didn’t help matters that results were decidedly poor.
Kisala appeared to reflect the limits to which he was prepared to extend his stay at Wankulukuku.
This after the former international failed to piece together a strategic plan Kiwanuka had specifically requested to prepare.
Groping in the dark is something that Kiwanuka is not so keen on doing. With Kisala fast becoming of questionable utility, it was just a matter of time before the axe could be dropped.
What was perhaps surprising given how progressive Kiwanuka is in both thought and deed is Kisala’s replacement. George Ssimwogerere is not a fresh face by any stretch of imagination. Handing him the coaching reins perpetuates an ill that represents a clear and present danger to Ugandan club football. The ill? Recycling coaches.
Reward of fresh faces
The rewards of having fresh faces in the coaching realm cannot be overstated. For one, novel ideas are bound to gush out of the fresh faces.
Take Bright Stars. They had over the years built a reputation of being an obstinate side that barely conceded goals. Their return in the goals for column, however, always left a lot to be desired. Not anymore.
There has been a marked improvement in the club’s goals’ return over the past couple of seasons.
While many are quick to attribute the change in fortunes to a short refresher course Fred Kajoba undertook in the United States, the presence of Ian Mutenda on Bright Stars’ technical bench must count for something. Mutenda is widely believed to have not only brought the best out of Nelson Ssenkatuka, but also triggered a sea change in the thought process at the Mwererwe-based club.
Bright Stars espouse attacking ethos that were previously not ascribed to them. They are for instance the sixth best scoring team in the topflight this season.
Maroons have not fared as well. In fact, the two-time Ugandan champions are flirting with relegation this season. This was not quite what was expected of them when they pulled off a huge coup by landing the services of George ‘Best’ Nsimbe. The inclusion of former Cranes skipper David Obua on Maroons’ backroom staff also sent tongues wagging. Obua’s appointment in assistant coach capacity was expected to herald something of a new dawn. While this didn’t exactly materialise, the outcome owed more to the toxic environment at Maroons than the failings of Obua who — like Nsimbe — has since left Luzira.
So, should Express have tried a fresh face as opposed to trying to reinvent the wheel with Ssimwogerere? Definitely! The next generation of coaches needs to given a crack at a job that most of their predecessors have quite frankly bungled.