Micho backs Villa to rise from woes

Wednesday October 21 2020
soccer01pix

Faith in record winners. Micho guided Villa to their last league title but even after 16 years of uncertainty at Villa Park, the Serbian tactician believes the record champions can rise back to the top. PHOTO | EDDIE CHICCO

By Andrew Mwanguhya

Whichever way you look at it, this football man, Serbian Micho Sredojevic, will forever remain ingrained in the Ugandan game.
A string of three league titles from 2002 to 2004, a Uganda Cup (then Kakungulu Cup), and a Cecafa Club Championship title alone make him a legend at Villa, his first footballing stop on arrival in Africa.
Micho has gone on to achieve things beyond Villa Park, but his beloved club have only won a Uganda Cup mid this decade.
Make 16 years since they last touched the league title.
“When in 2002 we won the double - league and Cup - with 16 points difference, and the league in the next season and league and Cecafa in the third...,” Micho told Daily Monitor.
“I was by no means thinking that Villa would have a long period without winning the league trophy. In that regard, I’m disappointed.
“I’ve gone to football studies elsewhere but my head has still remained Villa inside out.

Villa for life
“Even when I was national coach of Uganda Cranes, I had respect for the red part of football - Express supporters, yellow part of football -KCC supporters, and all others including Vipers and URA.
“But deep inside, you remain what you have been from the start. You never forget that.”
Even when he left after Villa’s last league and Cecafa titles for stints at St George, Orlando Pirates, and the Greater Sudan, it was only a matter of time.
The journey was clear. His Cranes predecessor, the good old Scotsman Bobby Williamson, should have got the sign when Micho moved closer ‘home’ with the Rwandan national team.
Man of firsts
And when Bobby was relieved of his duties in 2013, the Serbian Wolf, as Micho loves calling himself, finally arrived back home, taking over as Uganda Cranes coach in May 2013.
The rest is history as the Serb went on to lead Uganda to their first Afcon finals at the 2017 Gabon edition since 1978.
He has since moved on to his second stint at Orlando Pirates in South Africa, Zamalek in Egypt, and now currently managing the Zambian national team, but the league wait at Villa continues.
Last week, after years of ‘direction-less-ness’, in-fighting, intrigue, ownership and governance wrangles, the 2018 interim committee outed the way forward, declaring the club now 100 per cent fan-owned.
Villa supporters can now own the club by paying an annual subscription of Shs50,000 per person and they will have a say in club matters through a Congress.
Take on new ownership
Micho believes this is the way to go. “I personally believe that the new direction that the club has taken is promising,” he said.
“I wish them all the best as a club of supporters, the same way Barcelona and Real Madrid are in Spain. It is something we dreamed of always.
“I count myself lucky as a life member of Villa and all the trophies we won there I want to dedicate them to all those people that have made Villa the brand that it is as the record champions with 16 titles.”
The club will unveil their Trustee Board  members on October 30, the same day Villa Trust Member registration will officially commence.

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