Kyeyune revival puts him among UPL season’s best

Sunday April 5 2020

 Kyeyune’s smile is justified as he

Kyeyune’s smile is justified as he is a man boosting of a rejuvenated career. PHOTOS BY JOHN BATANUDDE. 

By ELVIS SENONO

KAMPALA- Many things were expected of Saidi Kyeyune when he broke onto the scene for Maroons in the 2010/2011 Uganda Premier League season.
His drive and industry, good passing range and knack for scoring long range goals earned him rave reviews that culminated into a move to URA at the start of the following season.

His star continued to rise and in 2012 earned a call up to the Cranes team that clinched a 13th Cecafa crown with a 2-1 win over Kenya in the final.

“I first saw him playing for Misindye FC in the lower divisions, and he controlled the midfield in a very calm manner. “His short passing game caught my attention and his composure reassured his teammates I brought him to compliment Muzamir Mutyaba and Alex Tuliraba and give us the other dimensions of his long passing range.

“No wonder Maroons of 2011 and 2012 was so fluid in movement forward,” Asaph Mwebaze who coached Kyeyune at Maroons recounts his time with the player.

Featuring for Cranes
The midfielder would go on to feature regularly for the Cranes and was also part of the Cranes 2014 Chan squad in South Africa.
In July 2015 after impressing in a Caf Confederation Cup 2-2 draw against Orlando Pirates, Kyeyune and Yasser Mugerwa were invited for trials at the South African side.

It was the latter however who earned a dream move to the Buccaneers, signing a three-year contract.
It is at that point that Kyeyune’s downfall can be traced with the midfielder consistently putting in inconsistent performances for the next two seasons.

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There was little surprise therefore when URA released the player at the end of the 2016 season.
“He thought he had reached super stardom and lost concentration,” Mwebaze succinctly put it when asked what could have happened to his former player.

Kyeyune then moved on to Proline for the start of the 2016/2017 season but struggled to nail down a starting berth before convinving URA to re-sign him after six months.

“I think was not working hard enough,” admitted the player in an interview this week. The start of his second spell was better than he had ended the first, although Kyeyune still struggled for consistency before Sam Simbwa took charge as coach towards the end of the 2017/2018 season.

“With Simbwa it is all about hard work,” Kyeyune says adding that that has helped him up his fitness levels. “I do some roadwork, gym,” he adds.

The results have been there for all to see in the league with Kyeyune earning a recall to the Cranes team that was preparing for the now postponed Chan tournament in Cameroon. This was on the back of several impressive displays including a thrilling first half showing in which Kyeyune and midfield partner Shafik Kagimu run rings around KCCA before the former went off injured.

“We would have won the game if Kyeyune had stayed on the pitch,” Simbwa said after his team conceded an Allan Okello goal in a 1-all draw back in November.

Contender for Goal of Season
There has been no let up since with Kyeyune staking a strong claim for the best player in the league this season. He has scored 10 goals in all competition including a hattrick in the 8-3 demolition of Nyamityobora in the Uganda Cup to go with seven assists in the league.

The goals have not been just about the numbers but with substance too with Kyeyune also scoring a goal of the season contender, along range effort against Kyetume.

His link up play with Kagimu has also been instrumental in second round victories over SC Villa, Express, KCCA and Vipers to
“Before we games we first sit down together and talk about how we can help the team,” says Kyeyune whose target is to score 10 league goals this season.” With five games left, the target seems achievable for Kyeyune who will hope his team improves further than their current fifth place standing.

STATISTICS

SEASON THUS FAR
Matches played: 21
Goals: 10 (3 in Uganda Cup)
Assists: 7
Cranes debut: 2012
Previous teams
Proline, Maroons, Misindye

essenono@ug.nationmedia.com

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