What you need to know:
- In Honour. ‘Old Coach’ Neko Moduse Ojala who passed on in June might be gone but Nemostars have not lost their hunger for success.
Nemostars went into the National Club Championship last weekend in an unfamiliar situation.
They were never used to playing games without their founder Neko Moduse Ojala but must now get used to it.
Old Coach passed on in June and this is the first tournament the team has taken part in since his demise.
“We surely miss our dear Old Coach a lot and it feels different,” team captain George Aporu said in Kabale.
“We realised this in our final preparations because he was always stepping in at such moments to give direction on what our emphasis should be on as we went into tournaments,” he added.
In Ojala’s absence, head coach Andrew Okapis and his captain have to run most of the things around the club and the two admit no one can replace Old Coach.
“The psychological build up was always assured and believe me, in this country, we had always had the greatest mental strength before any competition and that won us championships,” Aporu noted.
Head Coach Okapis believes there is nothing like getting someone close to what Ojala was like but the team must stick to what the old man believed in.
“The void is too big but we shall have to do what it takes to stay on top of our game. No size fits his foot at the moment,” Okapis said.
The tactician says Ojala “offered wisdom, guidance and technical expertise. We are digging deep but we can’t reach his level.”
All about winning
Old Coach might be gone but Nemostars have not lost their hunger for success and their performance in Kabale shows exactly that. The team got a scare in their quarterfinal clash with KCCA but recovered to take the decisive set and progress to the semis.
In the semis, they made light work of KAVC in straight sets and now await Sport-S in the final.
They had earlier defeated Kabale Youth at the round of 16 stage and Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), Squad-X and Lira Volleyball Club in the group games. The ultimate goal is to win the National Championship and represent Uganda at next year’s Africa Club Championship. “Whenever we (Nemostars) go into a tournament, our ultimate goal is to win the championship and this tournament is no different.,” Aporu said.
While Sport-S have always made it clear that winning the league or national championship would not guarantee going to the continental competition, Nemostars say they can only go there with victory on court first.
“As Nemostars if we don’t come number one then there’s no reason for us to play on the continent. We have to win at home first,” Aporu said.