By Sekka Bagenda
We promised to tell you more on why Express Football Club won the league despite the presence of other organized and hugely funded clubs like Vipers and Uganda Revenue Authority FC. We are back, as promised. Below is more on why:
Vipers Sports Club, owned by former FUFA president Lawrence Mulindwa, is possibly the most organized and richest club in Uganda today.
Vipers is the only Football club in Uganda with its own stadium, as big, and as modern, as those you people see on TV.
A Vipers player is paid sometimes even before some public servants in important offices in this country are paid. You cannot be surprised if Vipers or URA fc take trophies whenever they want. They have got it all.
An unbiased football pundit like me should be forgiven if he or she chooses to say that Express was lucky. The league was prematurely ended. Anything could happen if the four remaining matches had been played. Luck was really a factor.
Goal keeping department contribution
It was shocking news to the entire Express family when it was announced the other day that Express and their former first choice goal keeper Mathias Muwanga had parted ways.
Custodian Muwanga will not be with the club where he was assistant captain, next season.
We are sorry to report. The best stopper last season and the club he helped win the league disagreed.
He refused to renew his contract with Express. Mathias Muwanga quit at a time club fans had started falling in love with him.
Express FC goal keeping coach Daniel Kiwanuka made Muwanga. We pray that he nurtures goal keepers to replace the lost gold, Mathias Muwanga.
Former Kyetume goal keeper Joel Mutakubwa will be at Betway Mutesa II stadium next season.
Cryspus Kusiima and Denis Otim, that Mathias Muwanga almost permanently benched, are also good.
Clubs with dependable goal keepers win trophies. Express did.
Though Express has a short tempered CEO and staff that branded itself as the busiest, with no time to listen to reporters, they have some of the most hardworking communication managers, with ability to talk and talk, and talk, until things happen. Express FC photographers are from another planet. Professionalism never fails.
Respect that Football governing body gives to the club
Express is the oldest football club in Uganda. FUFA knows it that Express’ poor performance for almost a decade led to the kind of football we eventually saw. The kind that annoyed many!
FUFA, I think, had no option, but to do what they did before last season, for Vipers.
Very many people, including former minister Nakiwala Kiyingi, wrote letters to FUFA indirectly requesting them to give the premier league trophy to Express Football Club. FUFA listened.
Pressure from Express fans
We had all resorted to following the English premier league and other leagues in Europe. These people donning red T-shirts and caps attracted our attention.
Express fans showed us that it was still possible for Ugandans to be in stadiums again.
The red army sings for ninety minutes, whether at home at Wankulukuku, or away at Onduparaka. Magogo’s FUFA is the most coward I have ever seen.
Time came and they could not resist the noise power, from Express fans, especially on social media.
The red army talks a lot that no football administrator in this country can insist on saying their NO when the answer Express fans want to hear must have a YES in it.
COVID-19 escalating cases
FUFA decided to use the path they used before last season, giving Express what really belonged to them.
Thanks to coronavirus that refuses to go. Express Football Club are last season’s champions. Coronavirus!
Absence of fans in stadia
COVID-19 presence prohibits people from freely gathering.
Timid players confidently play when fans are away from stadia.
Express should thank their God, who sent COVID-19 on earth so that abusive fans could fail to freely have access to stadiums.
Elevation of Kiryowa Kiwanuka to Attorney General Position
We are right to allege that FUFA and their Magogo gathered as a team to see how they could congratulate Express Football Club’s chairman Kiryowa Kiwanuka on his rare achievement.
To congratulate, perhaps, Kiryowa Kiwanuka on his appointment as Attorney General, Express had to be crowned champions. People at FUFA are also human, like you.
Helen Buteme presence
If you are really a loyal follower of rugby in the country then the name Helen Buteme is not new to you. The players she handles are always fit and ready to face any competitor they are ordered to confront.
Last season, Express players were even fitter than those of Vipers who, week in week out, use a state-of-the-art gym at their glittering facility at Kitende.
They deserved to lead as others followed.
Decorated Strength and conditioning Coach Helen Buteme did a lot while the red eagles made their way up the ladder, of success.
Lessons from the past
Express FC almost got relegated during the 2017-18 season. Great lessons were therefore picked from such a bizarre incident.
They learnt. Kiryowa Kiwanuka took over. He came with money and brains.
Finally here is the Express that took trophies in the seventies and nineties. It is back. Failure is a big teacher.
Club founder Jolly Joe Kiwanuka and Kiryowa Kiwanuka’s father, Jimmy Mugambe Kiwanuka, are , really, happy today. They are resting in peace really.
Discipline among Express fans
If Martin Kizza and Godfrey Lwesibawa, some of the key players at Express Football Club, played for the followed Football Club in Uganda during the days when Wasswa Bbosa was a player there, such players, who sometimes become lazy and make careless mistakes, costing the club, would be deeply insulted (until they would shed tears) by Express fans.
Thank God that the once feared red army is nowadays toothless.
They (Express Football Club Fans) sing and applaud even when their team is trailing.
A player who is overhyped and praised by a Football Club’s fans plays to win, always. Congratulations Express Football Club.