Proline pride themselves in a vibrant youth structure that often churns out players to the club’s senior side.
But since inception in 2005, the club have not had a player quite like Alpha Ssali, a son of Bebe Cool, one of the country’s best music artists and grandson to legendary football administrator Bidandi Ssali.
He is also one whose parents have backed him to pursue a football career in football and was part of the national under-20 team Hippos that reached the final of the Afcon under-20 tournament recently.
This was despite the player being unable to make a senior appearance for his club prior to the tournament and failing to play a single minute at the tournament in Mauritania raising further questions about his ability.
But on his second senior appearance he showed why coaches at Proline have shown belief in him with a brilliant individual effort as the Big League side took a commanding 4-1 first leg win against top tier club Myda at Lugogo yesterday.
Having received a pass about 20 yards from goal, Ssali on as a 65th minute substitute, beat his first opponent, nutmegged the other before scoring with a firm, low strike before running off to hug his father in celebration.
The goal could be the first of many and or his last but what is certain is that it will be one of the goals of this year’s Stanbic Uganda Cup tournament.
On the day, it was the fourth goal adding to further strikes from Hakim Kiwanuka who also set up Hamis Kiiza with Brian Umony adding the other from the penalty spot for the largely experienced second tier side who are still the defending champions after last year’s tournament was cancelled at the quarterfinal stage.
In Bugembe, Joel Madondo converted a 26th minute penalty as Hassan Zungu started his coaching with a 1-0 advantage over Mbale Heroes.
Madondo was forced out with an injury in the 35th minute in a physical and highly-charged encounter that saw 15 medical breaks.
At Njeru, Express twice came from behind to share spoils with Kyetume in a four-goal thriller.
Ezra Kaye put the hosts in the lead in the 6th minute before John Byamukama fired past Joel Mutakubwa six minutes later for the equaliser.
Raymond Walugembe restored the lead for Kyetume at the hour turn but Eric Kambale’s header off an Enock Walusimbi cross ensured the Red Eagles take something home.
Kyetume played their last home game at Njeru as they prepare to return to Nyakisunga in Kyetume.
The game between Kitara and Kigezi was meanwhile not played with a breakdown in communication leaving Big League side Kigezi Home Boys at Kavumba in Wakiso district as Kitara and the match-day referees waited in Masindi.
STANBIC UGANDA CUP
Proline 4-1 MYDA
Gadaffi 1-0 Mbale Heroes
Kitara vs Kigezi HomeBoyz
Kyetume 2-2 Express
Kataka 1-0 Tooro United
URA 0-0 Mbarara City
Paidha vs Bright Stars
KCCA vs Nyamityobora
Arua Hill vs UPDF