Police’s Mubiru to rise from straggler to titles

Tuesday June 30 2020

Police players converge to st

Police players converge to strategise during a league match recess. PHOTO/JOHN BATANUDDE 

By Denis Bbosa

To-date, Police's Uganda Premier League title triumph in 2005 is still treated by many as a miracle. It is that exceptional phenomena that coach Abdallah Mubiru seeks to reproduce in the next three years of his new contract.

“When I look back at the three years I have been in charge, we are not so far away from becoming a side that can win trophies,” said Mubiru.

Police have been relegation stragglers who flirted with the dreaded drop for the better part of last season after they were docked points by Fufa. They ended the campaign hanging precariously above the final relegated side, Maroons, who were livid that they still had a chance to beat the Cops in their next game and leapfrog them on the table.

Fufa had elected to end the league with five rounds of matches to play, apparently, after failing to find a proper timeline from the coronavirus freeze on sporting activities in the country. But Mubiru has chosen to look to his first season that was glitzy and not the last two giddy ones in which Police were the also-rans of the Uganda Premier League. “Two seasons ago, we topped the table for a while after a strong start and many reckoned we were destined to win the title that year.

A few challenges here and there and we lost it,” said Mubiru, who also an assistant coach for Uganda Cranes.

Play turnover Part of the reasons Mubiru’s side finished 13th last season, 11th a season before and seventh in his

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first campaign are financial constraints at the club and high player turnover. “I’m afraid to tell that even this season we are going to lose about five players, including Samson Kigozi, Arafat Galiwango, Pius Kagwa and Denis Rukundo but we shall soldier on,” he said.

“We are not going to fight with Vipers, KCCA and URA for top players in the market but still we are going to assemble a decent side that will give us success soon.” Porous backine Unlike Asuman Lubowa’s 2005 triumphant side, that would go on and win the Cecafa club trophy in 2016 under the guidance of Sam Timbe, Mubiru’s Cops concede a lot of goals.

Last season, they let in 37 goals. Only relegated Maroons (41), Tooro United (39) and Proline (38) were worse. the defensive frailities contrasts sharply with their attack – only Vipers, KCCA, Villa and Bul outscored Police that had three goals deducted for not playing against Onduparaka.

“Most times we outplay our opponents even in games that we lose, we want to change that,” Mubiru said. “We are one of the most attacking sides in the league and among the top scoring clubs. If we maintain that, polish our defence and focus on winning the title, why not?” The gaffer’s words indeed have the potential to inspire even the most disinterested player and it is such self-belief like he embodies that the Cops will need – alongside luck – to get the dream chiming.

Meanwhile, Police chairman Asan Kasingye, who hailed Mubiru as the best they could have after steading their sinking ship by the time he joined in 2017, replaced Francis Kidega with lawyer Fahad Luwu as the new club chief executive. “It is a new challenge and a new chapter for me, but one I relish to undertake,” Lumu vowed.

dbbosa@ug.nationmedia. com

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