Following his impressive campaign last term that saw him score 12 league goals for Soltilo Bright Stars, only to miss out on the golden boot by a whisker, Samuel Ssekamatte has had a slow start to life at Arua Hill SC.
The striker has had limited playing time in the two league games the Leopards have had to play so far this season, prompting one to wonder why a player of his calibre, finesse and skill would find himself in such a predicament.
Ahead of their third game of the season away to the Kakyeka Stadium against Mbarara City FC, a game scheduled for Friday, October 29, the forward narrated his ordeal to Football256 in an exclusive interview.
“When I arrived here, we had over ten weeks of preseason and in due course, I got injured three weeks to the start of the season,” Ssekamatte highlighted.
“I resumed training shortly after recovery but it was a little too early. That is basically how I started life in Arua,” he added.
“That is the kind of situation I find myself in, the coaches decided that they never wanted to push it so hard on me that is why so far I have not played much.”
“But as time goes by, I expect to catch up and have more minutes on the pitch because I want to score just like how I did with Bright Stars. I want to help my team win games,” he assured.
Ssekamatte was brought on as a substitute during his side’s 2-0 victory over the defending champions Express FC in the season opener and despite starting against city rivals Onduparaka FC, he was subbed at the halftime.
He remains optimistic that he will get more minutes starting with the away game against Mbarara City because he feels that his fitness and energy levels are getting higher each day that goes by.
“Looking at the fixture layout, we as a team have instilled a mentality in our minds that we are supposed to play a game at least every three days.”
“That means that we are ready for the game against Mbarara City and hopefully, I will be handed more minutes as compared to the two previous games,” Ssekamatte concluded.
This trip to Mbarara will also see Arua Hill SC head coach Charles Livingstone Mbabazi and his assistant Sadiq Ssempigi take on their former bosses.
The former had two stints there (2018 and 2021) while the latter joined him in his last tenure.
Mbabazi will look at Alfred Leku and Robert Eseru as the offensive complement to Ssekamatte who seems familiar with the opposition since he scored a brace when his former side Soltilo Bright Stars beat them 3-1 in the return leg last season.
The Ankole Lions interim head coach, Hussein Mbalangu on the other hand will be hoping that Henry Kitegenyi, Solomon Okwalinga and Karim Ramathan, who were reliable against Soltilo Bright Stars carry their scoring boots to the party.
Mbalangu will also look at Arua Hill SC with a keen eye given the acrimonious nature under which the two parties parted ways not so long ago.
It must be remembered that he orchestrated their promotion to the topflight league with an unbeaten run. His legacy there is untainted.
Meanwhile, both sides have played two games so far, the visitors have managed to collect four points from a win and a draw to sit fourth while the hosts have won and lost to amass three points and consolidate the seventh position.
Both clubs have at least missed a game this, the Kongolo missing a matchday two encounter with SC Villa who were not part of the fixture while the Ankole Lions missing their away tie to UPDF FC on matchday three due to a heavy downpour.
With all the rivalry and sour graping exhibited in the build-up, this just might be the fixture to look out for on matchday four.
It promises to come with a lot more than just excitement given the love for revenge in terms of the coaches perspective.