By Baron Kironde
Blacks Power FC midfielder and assistant captain Mike “Baggio” Siu has become a household name in the FUFA Big League (FBL).
Siu, like former Italian international Roberto Baggio, mainly plays as a second striker; a modified role of an attacking midfielder with the capability of playing in several offensive positions.
The sensational midfielder has proved to be dangerous, dictating play from the middle of the park and scoring from very tight angles, his art at set-pieces is the most impressive.
“If opponents make mistakes (fouls) near their goal, they have to be punished,” Siu authoritatively expressed after the last FBL game where he scored the all-important free-kick for Blacks Power against Paidha Black Angels.
Briefly recounting the scenario, Paidha foul from slightly outside the box, they sigh with relief since it is not a penalty.
So the goalkeeper takes his time to arrange up to five of his men to block Siu’s sight from goal, with the tallest standing and the extreme end – understandably for extra caution.
Siu, like Baggio, steps up, calmly places the ball firmly on the ground, makes three steps backwards, pauses, takes a breath, tip toes forward, and curls the ball around the last, tallest defender to find the back of the net.
“I have scored quite many of those before They are just not documented,” Siu says, blaming his slow progress to limited exposure.
Siu has routinely scored from set-pieces, deservedly earning himself the enduring title “the dead-ball specialist”. He executes penalties with precision, has commendably scored direct from free-kicks, and corners too.
However, coaches have a problem with Siu. They do not fancy his daring antics of going direct for goal from corner kicks. Yes, he has attempted and ridiculously succeeded at some.
“Yes, the coaches think it is unreal to say that you will try to score from an angle as tight as the corner ark. But I first look at the keeper’s movements, and I know exactly where to place the ball; top corner, bottom corner, or hang it in space for a teammate,” Siu explains.
His former coach Robert Magomu, a former CRO FC player, describes Siu’s game as: “The things that boy (Siu) is doing in the Big League is no surprise to me. It is a craft that has been perfected over time, so typical of the Mike (Siu) I know.”
“Mike is a perfectionist. It is not by chance that he repeatedly scores those free kicks,” he adds.
Still forging his way in Uganda’s second division league, Siu’s ultimate ambition is to at one time play for the national team. But he first wants to guide Blacks Power to their first-ever Uganda Premier League (UPL) qualification.
In the current 2020-21 season, Blacks Power is second on the FBL Elgon group table, as Siu is leading the top scorers’ chart with an impressive eight goals, assisting thrice in the process.
Of the eight, he has scored four from open play and the other four from set pieces. In Sironko where he was born, Siu is a darling. He captains Halasi Clan, the inaugural winners of the ‘Bamasaaba Bikuuka’ (Clans) tournament.
He lifted the 2017 Bikuuka tournament trophy for Halasi after beating Wakoko Clan in the final at Mbale Stadium in the competition initiated by the late Sir Bob Mushikori in his reign as Umukuuka.
In the last edition of the Bikuuka tournament (2019), Siu captained Halasi to the final where he was voted the tournament MVP for his all-around outstanding performance despite Halasi losing out the final on penalties after a 2-2 stalemate with Mukonde Clan.
Baggio, as Siu prefers to be addressed in his special attributes. He is optimistic his work rate and efficient skills will elevate him to the top.
Local reports have already linked the midfielder to unconfirmed interests from as many UPL clubs as BUL FC, Express FC, URA FC, Police FC and KCCA.
Name: Mike Siu
Age: 23 (13/8/10/1997)
Club: Blacks Power
League: FUFA Big League
Position: Attacking Midfielder