URA FC yesterday unveiled Jackson Nunda as the club’s first signing in preparation for the 2020/21 season. Such is the former KCCA playmaker’s quality that the topic of discussion shifted immediately from his ability to how long he will stay stay fit after making the short switch to the Nakawa-based institution after a five-year period at Lugogo plagued by injury.
URA coach Sam Ssimbwa is confident the player can overcome his injury problems and play an important part as the club pursue major honours next season if handled well.
In what seemed like a swipe at Nunda’s former employer KCCA and Ssimbwa’s boyhood club, the coach appeared to suggest a better training regime could have Nunda realise his potential.
“He had a medical and we were assured he’d be fine. It seems he could not cope with the artificial turf at Lugogo. It is a difficult surface for many players to train on twice or thrice a day. He’s not the only one to struggle on such a surface,” the outspoken Ssimbwa opined.
The 2012 title league winning coach with Express also believes the player can play an integral part even if he does not feature in all matches.
“Even if he plays 20 games and wins 15 of them for us. That would be enough. I’m on record being against players training on the artificial turf twice a day because of my coaching experience in Rwanda,” the highly experienced former Attraco and Rwanda Police coach noted.
Nunda, a crowd favourite at KCCA who also once earned rave reviews from Nwankwo Kanu because of similar sublime technique, scored some memorable goals at the club including a fine individual strike in 2017 in a 4-1 win against Onduparaka.
But he was released alongside several experienced players after yet another season blighted by injury in which he started only six league games as KCCA finished second behind Vipers.
He moves to a URA side that had a stellar second round that saw them finish fifth after winning six of their last 10 games and losing twice.
THE GOOD TIMES
April 2016: Jackson Nunda’s five-year stay at KCCA has been hampered by a spate of injuries. But in April 2016 at Nakivubo, Nigerian legend Nwankwo Kanu endorsed him as an exceptional talent after he had put Villa to the sword in the StarTimes Cup.
September 2017: The lanky attacking midfielder rewound the clock to the days of Jackson Mayanja and Jamil Kyambadde when he netted a collector’s item against Onduparaka in the UPL at Lugogo.