By Brian Inke
BUL FC head coach Alex Isabirye believes his side will go into the history books as only the third team to defend the Stanbic Uganda Cup title after Express FC in 2006 and 2007 and KCCA FC in 2017 and 2018.
The Eastern Giants defeated Uganda Premier League champions Vipers SC 3-1 in the Uganda Cup final in Masindi last season.
Karim Ndugwa scored a brace and the other from Simon Peter Oketch as BUL denied Vipers their maiden double, whose only goal was scored by Halid Lwaliwa.
BUL will travel away to Kirondo Ground in Mukono to face Buganda Regional League side Sparks FC in the round of 64.
And, Isabirye asserts they will do everything possible to defend the title, even though it won’t be an easy task.
“Although it’s always hard to defend the title with one team, I will try with the help of God to do it with BUL. And I believe we can win it for the second consecutive time,” Isabirye noted.
Isabirye is wary though of the threats that will be caused by Sparks, recalling the incident that happened five years ago after Seeta United eliminated them at the same level.
“I don’t think the draw with Sparks is an easy one, every team that participates in the Uganda cup can win the trophy.”
“And BUL has ever failed to progress from the round of 64 at the hands of a team from Mukono that was against Seeta United about five years ago,” he noted.
Isabirye is tasked with making research about their opponent before they face off between January 30th to February 3, 2023, with the winner progressing to the round of 32.
“We know little about the team but we shall try to research and know what they can do and what they can’t do.”
BUL are the favorites to progress to the next round and Isabirye says they will do all they can to qualify as it’s their target.
“Qualifying to the next round is our prime target in this tie and this will need us to do all that is possible to achieve that.”
In BUL’s route to the domestic cup triumph last season, they were given a walkover in the Round of 64 after their opponents Bundimasoli failed to honor the fixture.
They then eliminated rivals Busoga United in the Round of 32 before overcoming Soltilo Bright Stars on penalties in the round of 16.
In the quarter-finals, they defeated SC Villa before going past Booma FC and Vipers in the semifinals and final respectively.