Abbey Bogere Kikomeko presents a face of desperation. One similar to that of resigned sailor watching in wretchedness as his ship steadily sinks in the middle of a storm in Lake Victoria, with no signs of hope for help.
The coach made headlines in the first part of this year when he guided Busoga United to 4th in the truncated league season winning eight of his 14 second round games.
However, start to the season has been on a downward spiral. This week, they continued to plunge further with their third 3-0 loss at the hands of Police at Lugogo. This was not their first defeat to the cops, they’ve lost all the four matches at Lugogo.
The difference is they went down fighting in the previous three but, for yesterday, they turned up to control the damage and keep a decent score.
“We’re lucky to be conceding fewer goals,” Kikomeko, who avoided the media after the game, later told SCORE.
“I don’t know what to do. The players are not turning up for training for various reasons, others valid. It is difficult to plan for a game on the match day and win.
“Senior players like my captain [George Kasonko] aren’t turning up. I have to plan for the game when I see the players who have turned up for the match,” the coach revealed the dire state of affairs at The Mighty Arena in Jinja SS.
Sit down strike?
Captain Kasonko, the longest serving member of the team, sounded unapologetic for missing the recent team training and matches, appearing to point a finger on the administrative glitches at the club.
“The situation is hard, we are trying but things are really tough,” a reserved Kasonko noted briefly.
Another senior player who asked for anonymity in order to speak freely to this magazine, said: “I don’t have money to transport myself to training and games. The club management has disappeared. We understand that the president [Dinah Nyago] is busy in campaigns but the rest of the administrators are nowhere to be seen.
“The coaches are the only ones present. They can’t give any answers to our off-field affairs because they’re also seeking the same answers. So, for the betterment of my family, I would rather use my little energy to put food on the table.”
The club is also grappling with the issue of registration for their star midfielder-cum-striker Ivan Wani and left back Julius Debbo.
The duo switched allegiance to the South Sudan national team and are yet to receive their licences as Fufa and the club work on some paperwork.
Takoowa in for Nyago
In a bid to rescue the club from collapsing, early this week, the club announced that Nyago had handed over powers of the attorney to the club’s former Chief Executive Hassan Mugerwa Takoowa as she concentrates on her political campaigns that is hitting homestretch.
Mugerwa seems to have done a thorough scan of the problems at hand and says has a rescue.
“There are some issues which I believe can be sorted out. That is what I will embark on. Good enough, we shall have a long break during the Chan [Africa Nations Championship due next month in Cameroon] to sort ourselves,” Mugerwa told SCORE without highlighting the exact issues he wants to tackle but from the outlook, the team is on the brink of terrible chaos.
The problems are so many they cannot fit in this page.
Briefly: Abbey Kikomeko, coach
Kikomeko started senior coaching at Busoga United when the team started in 2012/13. It was then called Kirinya-Jinja SS. He had come from Topa (Tororo Progressive Academy), once a booming school in football, in 2000-10, upon the invitation of former Jinja SS head teacher cum president of Busoga United Dinah Nyago.
He was tasked with starting the same project that he ran at Topa in Jinja SSS. He has been on and off as head of senior team and also the school team.
Kikomeko got his first full season job January last year after Charles Ayieko departed the club.
Kikomeko, who has not once, twice but thrice came to save the team from sinking previously, sounds resigned to the task and only waiting for time.
“I have come back to save the team when it was performing poorly in the past but now the conditions are very different,” he said when asked about the rumours that he is mulling over a decision to throw in the towel.
“I chose to ignore some offers so that I continue with what we were building here [at Busoga United]. I am not thinking about resigning but I need to sit down and have a chat with myself first.”
Busoga united in UPL
Dec. 5th vs. UPDF 3-0 L
Dec. 8th vs. Bul 1 -3 L
Dec. 11th vs. Kyetume 1-1 D
Dec. 15th vs. Police 3-0 L
Dec. 20th vs. Vipers