URA FC have a very busy ten days ahead, that will easily define their 2021/22 StarTimes Uganda Premier League (SUPL) season, starting Saturday, November 20 to the end of the month.
Everyone agrees that they scored big in the transfer market, now it is time to see how it pays them off, for they have already been judged for losing their first match as early as the second fixture.
The Taxmen gave away a two-goal lead to eventually succumbing 3-2 at the hands of Arua Hill SC at the Barifa Stadium in Arua.
Meanwhile, as URA go for the third, the top two title contenders so far, KCCA FC and Vipers SC are yet to lose a game after six and five matches respectively.
All hope is not lost for URA
For URA, it is just the start of the season, and they have so many chances to catch up, considering they make the best out of their next four fixtures.
They should be able to gather as many points as they can when they face BUL FC, Tooro United, Vipers and Police FC before the end of this month.
Tabulating the results of those four fixtures with the first two will give a very clear picture of where URA want to be and what they will be able to do this season.
URA might have failed at convincing celebrated local football coach Sam Ssimbwa to stay, but in any way, the club still has to move on and now they have another experienced tactician in Sam Timbe.
As a fact also, almost all the players that the Tax Collectors fought so hard to see that they wear a URA shirt will be starting games for them, like we witnessed in the CAF Confederation Cup and the opening league games.
That is not in itself testament to a lack of quality that URA had before, or that they were starving of quality, but rather a sign that the Tax Collectors know exactly what they wanted, and it is what they went for to get in the market.
URA ensured that all their key players stayed intact, and the additions are impressive, they are already proven players who will surely have an impact on the club’s performance.
Having them all indicates URA’s hunger for silverware. They did some good business in the just concluded transfer market.
The arrival of Vianne Ssekajugo, Derrick Ndahiro and Kabon Living, the return of Said Kyeyune, James Alitho and Hannington Ssebwalunyo; By the end of the transfer window, URA had landed every kind of player they wished to get.
The Tax Collectors have been sending indicators for their intended competitiveness since the end of last season.
Their big signings are a big representation in the statement of their intentions – a serious team ready for title contention.
With a formidable attack, a stable midfield and a dependable defensive line backed by proven goalkeepers in plenty, URA is ready to go, the other title contenders surely have a reason good enough to watch out for the Tax Collectors.
URA, besides retaining dependable Nafian Alionzi managed to convince towering custodian James Alitho to return to the club, and they further made an alarming but necessary move to recall Hannington Ssebwalunyo from his loan move to BUL.
Those are three good goalkeepers to fight for one spot in between the posts all season; Good for healthy competition, and convenient in case of shortcomings like injuries.
Despite serious attempts by Ghanian side Asante Kotoko to lure striker Steven Mukwala to the Ghana Premier League, URA managed to keep their marksman, and he will for another season team up with Cromwell Rwothomio upfront in the hunt for URA’s goals.
When Brian Majwega left for KCCA, URA already had a major plan to bring in Ndahiro, and without fail, they did.
Majwega’s experience was a great addition in the URA left back position last season, but Ndahiro’s silky left foot is already making the veteran’s absence be forgotten within no time.
The only player URA had immense interest in but failed to sign was Geoffrey Wasswa who eventually ended up at Lugogo with KCCA.
However, the failure to capture Wasswa’s signature has been easily covered by the arrival of Najib Fesali who returned from Gaddafi FC after a season-long loan.
The defender has improved immensely to command the starting spot in URA’s central defence that mainly comprises of other big names like Benjamin Nyakoojo, Hudu Mulikyi and Patrick Mbowa.
Fesali was just recently listed on the Cranes squad in Uganda Cranes’ double-header World Cup qualifier matches against Rwanda.
If URA can not win the league this time round, it will be mainly because of Vipers’ consistency in winning, or Morley Byekwaso’s relentless KCCA.
Leaving all the other factors constant, URA have a squad that can, and should favourably win so many of their own games to battle for the top spot.