Innocent leading Buddo with goals

Joy. Buddo SS forward Innocent celebrates his goal against St Augustine Seminary. PHOTO /GEORGE.KATONGOLE

With his devastating pace, deft control, raw power and deadly finishing, Innocent Media Ronald has made Arua his playground.
The 19-year-old is a spectacle in the on-going Uganda Secondary Schools Sports Association (USSSA) boys football championship in Arua.

The son of a former amateur footballer in Koboko, Innocent, a South Sudanese youth international, left his birthplace early in order to make his dreams of playing at the highest levels a reality. At the age of 15 years in 2018, he was scouted by Sentah College Mbarara from Koboko Parents School in Senior Two as part of the deal to help Nyamityobora’s mandatory reserve team. Nyamityobora, which had qualified to the top flight, partnered with Sentah College to have all reserve players in one place.

Innocent was determined to make the most of it. Combining school time and playing the Fufa Juniors League, the then head coach James Odoch promoted him to the senior team after scoring the only goal in the derby against Mbarara City.
While appearing for Nyamityobora, Hakim Ssebunya, the games teacher of Buddo SS picked him during the game against Express FC at Wankulukuku and offered him a bursary. This was his second top flight game after making his debut against Maroons yet his impact was immediate as John Revita fouled him in the box for the penalty. “His movements and scoring were outstanding. I just loved him from the first time I saw him in action,” Ssebunya said.

Another star in the galaxy
In 2019, Innocent joined Buddo SS and he did not have to wait too long to make his presence felt despite a galaxy of stars such as Bukenya Kizza (KCCA), Joseph Kafumbe (SC Villa), Emmanuel Loki (Bright Stars) and Hamza Mulambuzi (Proline), among others. “I worked hard and earned my place in the team,” Innocent said. In his first year at Buddo, he was the top scorer at the district as Buddo SS overpowered St Mary’s SS Kitende.
In the nationals, he would score five goals as Buddo were eliminated in the semis by Kitende. In the East African event, the lively attacker had another four goals to his name.
As the tourney was cut short by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, Innocent was rewarded with a contract at Arua Hills where he has scored two goals.


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