KCCA’s talent recycling an indictment on game

Kayizzi is returning to Lugogo for his third stint with the Kasasiro Boys. PHOTO BY DENIS BBOSA

Love or loathe them, you have to acknowledge that some good work has been transpiring at KCCA FC.
The Uganda Premier League champions have a nicely refurbished home whose turf has been modernized with the artificial playing surface.
The dressing rooms are neat, the technical team has its designated offices and KCCA on the whole have a semblance of professionalism.
Mike Mutebi could well be the only coach in the country with an office. And full credit to him, he uses it almost every day to see how best to strengthen the club.
In this pre-season, he has been an ever-present with his team discussing tactics, philosophies and who to pursue with his bosses and the technical side.
In many ways, KCCA is a club on the up.
Off the field, they haven’t stopped unveiling sponsors to enrich the club’s coffers in the hope of reaching the self-sustainability that KCCA Executive Director Jennifer Musisi cherishes.

However the club’s recent recruits have exposed a shortcoming in the game that mustn’t be treated lightly.
In recent weeks the club have recruited forwards Geoffrey Sserunkuma and Vincent Kayizzi, two old boys who shone for Lweza and Express respectively last season.
They also lured back controversial prodigal son Brian Majwega to the yellow and blue kit.
KCCA are basically reinforcing for the demands of continental football next season, their league title defence, Cup football and the Cecafa Kagame Cup.
The additions, Mutebi probably believes, will rectify the weaknesses of last season and make the team deeper to handle competition on the various fronts.

So from a KCCA perspective, it could be argued that the club have full justification for their recruitments.
And of course it is to the credit of Sserunkuma and Kayizzi that they can still convince a hard-to-please coach like Mutebi at this point in time in their careers.
But when you think critically, you can’t help but wonder what it means for the game when the champions are re-signing players in the twilight of their careers.
In returning Sserunkuma to Lugogo, KCCA are implying to the game that there are no thoroughbred finishers in the country.
Kayizzi’s signature likewise is a statement that there is a dearth of pure wingers in Ugandan football.

The problem here is not KCCA; the issue is the game.
KCCA like many topflight teams in the country have an U-17 side featuring in a competition purposely developed by the federation to promote organic growth of talent.
To go alongside the U-17 game is the national post and primary soccer competition of Coca-Cola and a series of one-off games and competitions in the country that promote talent such as the Masaza Cup, Inter-Regions, Bika Bya’Abaganda, Inter-University football and the Cranes Na’mutiima campaign.
It is a massive indictment on Ugandan scouting or talent, or both, that ten years later, Sserukuma and Kayizzi can be seen as solutions to a tactical conundrum by the champions of the league.
The two may improve KCCA’s fortunes and if they do, Mutebi’s call will be viewed as shrewd.
But for the game, it will be a case of regression.

Azam technical report a plus
The Azam Uganda Premier League management recently released a technical report of the season that highlighted the trend of the league last season.
It was a detailed report that must earn Bernand Bainamani full commendation for a job well done.
We can only hope that all coaches have received it, discussed and internalized the statistical detail as they prepare for the coming season.
It is common practice globally for league coaches to sit down and review the season, new tactical details and various other issues surrounding the game.
The culture of producing technical reports of the league must be maintained forever. Only then can we claim to be head in the direction of professionalism.

Uganda Golf Open is here, again
The Tusker Malt Uganda Golf Open was launched with the promise that it will be bigger and more exciting than last year’s edition.
As all promotions go, the hype comes with the territory. As a fan of the game, we hope that the pompous unveiling will be matched by the quality of play on the fairways and greens.
Last year, the story – one that will live for the ages – was Ronald Otile and his remarkable triumphs in both the amateur and professional categories.
Such was the rarity of his feat that journalists voted him the sportsman of the year 2015.
The gallery yet again will be hoping that one of the emerging youngsters rises to upstage odds like Otile did.

Olympics preps in disarray
When Stephen Kiprotich delivered Uganda’s greatest Olympic performance in four decades with a stunning gold in the 2012 Olympics marathon in London, the nationwide euphoria that greeted his marvelous achievement suggested that future Olympic preparations would be treated with more attention and care by the government.
Yet with the Game opening inside a month, the Uganda Olympic Committee is still grappling with government over funds allocation for Team Uganda for Rio de Janeiro.
The preparations are far from ideal and expecting another medal in London is out of sheer anticipation, not hope.
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