Kings target third straight regional title

Mukono King's striker Malik Makumbi in action against Dynamic SS in the district championship semifinals at St Joseph's SS Naggalama. PHOTO/GEORGE KATONGOLE 

What you need to know:

King's faces a rebuilding year after losing key players from their back-to-back championship runs.

Two-time defending champions King's HS Mukono have set their sights on a return trip to the national tournament as the USSSA Mukono Regional qualifiers head to Buikwe District this weekend.

"Reaching the semifinals would be an ideal target," said Mukono King's head coach Shafiq Mudholo. "Our personnel may have changed, but our commitment to high performance remains constant."

King's faces a rebuilding year after losing key players from their back-to-back championship runs.

However, the team has replenished its ranks with promising talent like leading scorer Joseph Wasswa a 13-goal poacher acquired from Quality School Buikwe and seasoned veterans Calvin Muwonge and Shaban Gyagenda, both with national team experience.

Mudholo identified St. Matthias Kalemba and Mehta as the primary threats to his team's title defense.

Three teams will qualify for the nationals in Masaka.

Tough road

Standing in their path are St Julian SS Seeta, who are eager to make a splash in their regional qualifier debut. Denied victory in the initial qualifying rounds, St Julian petitioned against Latifah Mixed Kabembe for fielding ineligible players to qualify for the regional games. They are now out to prove their mettle.

Led by the experienced coaching quartet of Felix Kawooya Ssekabuuza, Mike Kabali, Jamada Magaasi, and Louis Kizito, the team boasts a technically gifted squad.

Most of their players are from the prestigious Rays of Grace Academy in Njeru and have tasted success in the Juniors League, with some even garnering national team call-ups.

"We want to leave a lasting impression," said Coach Ssekabuuza.

St. John's Kawuga, led by William Kyeswa, also enters the competition with momentum after securing victories in friendly matches against Jipra and Kalagi Select. Kyeswa emphasises the importance of tactical discipline.

"We've been working on technical aspects, and we're confident our players will execute them effectively," said Kyeswa.

USSSA Games qualifiers - Mukono Zone

Group A (Buikwe playground): St Matthias Kalemba, Mpoma Royal, Quality HS, Central College

Group B (Mehta Stadium Lugazi): Mehta SS, Vision for Africa, St Mark HS, Dynamic Ssonde

Group C (St Andrew's Lugazi): Mukono King's, Namagabi, Lugazi Homeland, Mukono HS

Group D (Allied Teachers SS): St Julian, Rehoboth, Mt Carmel, St John's Kawuga

Dates: April 13-14, 2024