Express want silverware, but top 3 won’t be tragic
What you need to know:
Tough ask. Red Eagles coach Wasswa Bbosa says he was brought in to do the job, and believes they have done the best business in the transfer season to give them a good go at silverware in 2020/2021
Sam Ssimbwa has since coached at KCCA, been suspended, tutored at Soana, returned to Wankulukuku, and now managing URA since he led Express to their last league title in 2012.
During this time, Express have huffed and puffed, ushered in Kiryowa Kiwanuka as chairman, survived relegation by the skin of their teeth on the last day, and gone though different coaches and almost countless players.
But the arrival of Kiwanuka seems to have steadied the ship, with new CEO Isaac Mwesigwa, who replaced Hamza Jjunju this year, putting in place a semblance of organisational structure.
Wasswa Bbosa has also since returned having earlier resigned as coach with the Red Eagles mid this decade.
Bbosa now believes that this new spell should surely be one he wins silverware with Express, with an eye on the league and Uganda Cup.
“When I joined the club, I told the board that during my three-year stay, I’ll win silverware,” Bbosa told Daily Monitor ahead of the 2020/21 StarTimes Uganda Premier League (SUPL) season.
The new campaign is slated to kick off on December 3 after two earlier postponements from October 17 and November 20.
“It still remains my target and for next season, winning the league is priority but a top 3 finish is my target.”
Express, after surviving relegation on the last day of the 2018/19 season, finished the last in ninth place.
This was after Bbosa was brought in to replace the sacked George Ssimwogerere and help the Red Eagles avoid another nail-biting finish.
What has changed?
Defence was Express’ biggest undoing last season, shipping in 37 goals against 30 scored. Only relegated Maroons, Tooro and Proline conceded more.
Bbosa says that not only have they moved to fix the leaky defence, they have beefed up just about every department in the team.
“Honestly,” said Bbosa, “all our departments are strong because we planned our recruitment although every team has to be solid at the back and that I am sure of.”
Express did bring in 18 new players, but it is Uganda Cranes defender Murushid Juuko that made the headlines.
Juuko’s central defensive partnership with Enock Walusimbi is one Bbosa is pretty confident about.
“The forward line too is good. In Frank Kalanda, new signing George Ssenkaaba, Eric Kambale and Mustafa Kiragga we’re sure about the goals,” added Bbosa.
To address the defence further and overall fitness of the team, Express also brought in goalkeeping coach Daniel Kiwanuka, as well as a strength and conditioning tutor Helen Buteme.
CEO Mwesigwa has also moved to address the communication department, hiring journalist Peter Tabu as media officer.
The club also secured a kit deal with renowned manufacturer, Umbro, who will supply the all clothing and footwear, including fan replicas, for Express – first time in the Red Eagles’ history.
Both Bbosa and Mwesigwa believe they have a really good chance to compete for honours this upcoming season.
But is the high turnover of players every off-season they will hope to arrest if they want to genuinely build something long term.
Isa Muzeeyi Lumu
C. Kusiima (Tooro Utd)
Denis Otim (Mbarara C)
R. Bbosa (Super Cubs)
D. Mubuya (Tooro Utd)
E. Walusimbi (B. Stars)
M. Juuko (Wydad Casa)
J. Byamukama (Tooro)
F. Ssekyanzi (Tooro Utd)
I. Kayiwa (Tooro Utd)
B. Sakah (Zaana High)
M. Kakooza (Proline)
I. Nsengiyumva (Free S)
G. Lwesibawa (Tooro)
C. Musiige (Tooro Utd)
Ivan Mayanja (CATDA)
M.Kiragga (Alexandria, SA)
G. Ssenkaaba (Kitaara)
(on loan to Proline)