Since their last title-winning season in 2012, Express Football Club seasons have followed the same trend. A pre-season of huge optimism, followed by mediocrity as the season unfolds.
Express is the third most successful club in the country with six league titles to write about but it has been hard for many who evidenced their glory days to fathom how far they have fallen in the recent past.
What is even more muddling is the club has not looked anywhere close to getting their house back in order for a while now. Administratively, they have taken huge strides under chairman Kiryowa ‘KK’ Kiwanuka.
KK’s tenure is not yet close to an incarnate of what his grandfather and founder of the club Jolly Joe Kiwanuka achieved, but there are a number of positives that can be drawn from the structures he has set up at the club.
The Red Eagles are trying to assimilate their rivals KCCA who have got a latch of how club football administration can be fused with the technical aspects in order to achieve success – that remains KK’s ultimate goal at the club.
Financially, the club is or looks to be stable with sponsorships from Betway Uganda and Equity bank, but it is on the field of play where they have stagnated.
They have jumped from one approach to another including a focus on youth development mixed with experience or going all out in the market to acquire anything available for the resources they have.
One man who has brought Express close to the title or at least made them contenders is Wasswa Bbosa. And the gaffer has been trusted with the job to make the club dream again.
While his predecessors in the recent past have mounted rigorous transfer strategies with numerous ins and outs – which have ultimately turned into a disaster – Bbosa seems to be taking calculated and controlled steps regards his recruitment.
“We’re already getting dirty behind the scenes and everything is under control,” Bbosa told the club’s media.
“My technical team is working closely with the secretariat and I don’t see this going wrong so the fans should be calm,” he added.
“This time we know who we want and how they are going to help the team develop. It’s not about rushing to any option available to us as it has been before. This time we are sure of the steps and decisions we take.”
He exclusively told Football256: “We have earmarked our targets and are moving steadily, and of course we are calm and confident on whatever we do.”
Express finished ninth, 21 points off the champions Vipers last season, but 10 points of their overall tally were won under Bbosa’s five games in charge. In the preceding five they had won just three points from a possible 15 under George Ssimwogerere.
It is easy to understand why Bbosa has often called for calm in his first six months. The Red Eagles may have the history, but at the moment there is fervent work to be done to get the club anywhere close to the top five (and am talking top five).
To draw the picture for you, Express has not attained 45 or more points in a single season since 2015/2016; they finished third that season four points behind the winners KCCA.
Bbosa was the man on the touchline, and he knows first-hand what is de rigueured for the club to once again challenge KCCA and Vipers for the title, especially after a season like the one they had in 2019.
Express has already lost their captain and best player for the last two years Disan Galiwango, and that is already two steps back not only in terms of football quality but character and leadership.
The bigger question is who fills the leadership void left by Galiwango?
Ultimately, Bbosa is a coach not scared or easily overwhelmed by the task at hand, however, even for a coach of his reputation, it is not guaranteed that he will get it right. It will take time but trust him to get it right.