SC Villa in prime position for UPL awards

SC Villa winger Jonah Patrick Kakande celebrates after winning the league. PHOTO/EDDIE CHICCO

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They are consequently expected to dominate the Pilsner Uganda Premier League (UPL) season awards when the five man shortlist is released next Friday ahead of the awards on June 29.

By virtue of winning the league and playing with an entertaining style, few would begrudge SC Villa dominating the 2023-2024 season awards.

They are consequently expected to dominate the Pilsner Uganda Premier League (UPL) season awards when the five man shortlist is released next Friday ahead of the awards on June 29.

Before that, fans will have their say through the various UPL socials to choose the best players this season.

"We experimented with the same approach last season and it was an exciting way to come up with a shortlist. The final three-man shortlist from last season came from the public," league manager Paul Kabaikaramu told the press at the launch of the season awards held at Kati Kati Restaurant in Lugogo.

From the public voting, UPL will come up with a five-man shortlist for the player of the season awards that will be narrowed down to three players by the selected panel for voting until 28th June.

According to Kabaikaramu, public voting constitutes 40% to the awards with the select panel of seven holding a 60% say.

Up to 14 categories will be awarded for the awards set to be held at the Sheraton Hotel.

Villa's Patrick Kakande will be among the favourites for the MVP title having contributed nine goals and four assists including the one for the second goal as Villa clinched the title with 2-0 win over Nec in the final game of the season to win their first title in two decades.

Many of those goals in the second half of the season were match winning efforts scoring twice in a come from behind 2-1 win over Maroons, scoring the leveller against Kitara and the lone goal that decided the result against Gaddafi.

The goal against Gaddafi involved a delightful turn to take him away from his markers before applying a fine finish.

But away from the statistics it is Kakande's style of play that has impressed most with his dribbling and playmaking ability, often cutting in from the left of Villa's attack to devastating effect.

Teammate Ronald Ssekiganda is another strong candidate for player of the season often dictating play in Villa's engine room adding three goals and three assists to the cause.

His club captain Kenneth Ssemakula who has since announced his departure from the club was also a reliable performer with his versatility coming in handy in central defense, as a right back and holding midfielder before capping the season with a decisive goal in a 2-1 win over URA at the final bend.

League top scorer Muhammad Shaban is one who should also be in consideration after his 17 goal haul while Kitara's Dennis Omedi's 15-goal contribution brought as much excitement as his team's fourth place finish on their return to the topflight league.

Milton Karisa won the MVP award last season as Vipers clinched a league and Cup but has largely been subdued as the Venoms put up a meek defence of their title

Pilsner UPL Awards

14 categories up for grabs

June 13- 20: Public voting through UPL social media channels to choose a five-man shortlist

June 21-28: Three-man shortlist to be selected by a panel of seven

Public voting  constitutes 40%

Panel of seven will have a 60% say