Assessing the 2019/2020 season of the three promoted teams

At the start of the 2019/2020 StarTimes Uganda Premier League season, three teams were promoted to the top flight league from the FUFA Big League.

Proline FC who had finished top of the Rwenzori Group and Wakiso Giants on the other hand who finished top of the Elgon Group both earned direct spots to the SUPL for the 2019/2020 season.

Kyetume FC completed the trio when they thrashed Kansai Plascon 4-1 in the playoff final at the StarTimes Stadium, Lugogo, in a game veteran striker Robert Ssentongo scored a hat trick.

Proline and the Purple Sharks did feature in the Big League final at Lugogo to determine the overall winner of the division.

Proline then under Shafiq Bisaso emerging 1-0 victors via Bright Anukani’s solo goal to be the 2018/2019 FUFA Big League champions.

Onto gaining promotion, Proline were tipped to make a successful return to the Uganda Premier League and avoid immediate relegation given its previous experience in the UPL.

Whereas Wakiso and Kyetume earned promotion for the first time, Proline were up for their seventh season, having played in the Premier League in 2009/10 as (Nalubaale FC), 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14 (relegated), 2016/17 and 2017/18 (relegated) previously.

When they were eventually promoted again in 2019/20 for their seventh season in the top flight, they had the experience and hence an edge over the other two promoted sides who earned promotion for the first time in history.

Much like Proline, Wakiso also looked a team cut out for the top flight. The Purple Sharks were undoubtedly, the best Big League side in 2019.

Despite earning their first promotion to the top flight, they looked by far the likelier side to adapt better to the demands of top-flight football, with the money and the level of organisation exhibited by the club.

Evidenced by the fact that they lost just a single game in the Elgon Group, and sealed promotion much earlier than any other side.

In contrast to Wakiso and Proline, Kyetume arrived with the underdog tag and were the bookies favourites to bite the dust and drop back down immediately.

But the script was immediately rewritten when the 2019/20 StarTimes Uganda Premier League season finally commenced in August 2019.

The slaughters shockingly defeated record league champions SC Villa 1-0 on the first day of the season, Wakiso lost 1-0 to then defending champions KCCA whereas Proline fell 3-0 to Mbarara City.

As the season continued, each of the promoted sides faced their own set of challenges ranging from being docked points, drastic changes in coaching staff among others.

Regardless, the Purple Sharks and the Slaughters lived their dream of staying up in their first seasons whereas Proline were frustratingly sent back down despite holding the biggest experience of the three.

Wakiso and Kyetume finished level on 30 points with goal difference separating the two as the former and the latter finished 10th and 11th respectively.

The highly rated Proline managed only six wins, four draws collecting just 22 points in 25 games hence finishing rock bottom of the 16-team SUPL log.

FUFA cut short the 2019/20 football season in Uganda due to the coronavirus pandemic with five rounds of fixtures left to play in the top tier division with Proline, Tooro United and Maroons FC all relegated.

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