By Brian Inke
Arua Hill SC forward Reagan Mpande has revealed how proud he is for settling well in the Uganda Premier League for the first time.
Born on 7th May 2004 in Jinja, Mpande joined Arua Hill from FUFA Big League side Ndejje University at the start of the 2022/23 season.
He had played for Soana Junior Team in the FUFA Juniors League before crossing over to Ndejje.
Just like any other footballer, Mpande in an exclusive interview with Football256 revealed that it was his childhood dream to play in the top tier.
“It was like a dream come true playing in the UPL” Mpande disclosed before adding, “I always wanted it from my childhood and worked for it till the chance came.”
With the help of Arua Hill head coach Livingstone Mbabazi, Mpande’s dream was fulfilled when he signed for Arua Hill thanks to his impressive performance at Ndejje University in the FUFA Big League.
“I joined Arua Hill with the help of the manager due to the good performance I had put on the pitch at my former team Ndejje University.”
Mpande feels that Mbabazi is the best coach in the country, and he never had any second thoughts about working with him.
“Coming here was an easy decision because I was going to a higher level and being under coach Mbabazi I believed it could improve my playing style because I believe he is the best coach in Uganda.”
Mpande made his league debut in a goalless draw with Blacks Power FC at Akibua Memorial Stadium, coming in for Innocent Maduka in the 92nd minute and admits it didn’t take him long to settle in.
“Arua is a good place, players are hospitable I felt it easy being here because of the love I was shown by everyone.”
The former Bishops SS Mukono student featured in eight matches in the first round out of 14, and managed three goals including a brace against Onduparaka FC and the other against Busoga United.
“First Round being sincere wasn’t bad on my side because I played and scored for my team to help them maximize on the points we are having now.”
“Of course, I felt wow like so good scoring my first goals in the league and helping my side win a derby (against Onduparaka) because it was a game the team wanted to win after a bad run of four loses in a row.”
Playing in his first derby, Mpande admits that there was a lot of pressure: “There is a lot of pressure from the derby coming from the technical team, management, fans and even fellow players.”
“But as a good player, you have to contain it and do what you know best,” Mpande added.
On his second round ambitions, Mpande is looking forward to scoring more goals and helping his team pick maximum points.
“Every forward player would like to end a season with as many goals as possible and assists. And, that’s what am up to so that I help my team win and do what is expected from me,” Mpande noted.
The youngster is currently with the Uganda U-20 team as they prepare for the Africa Cup of Nations slated for February in Egypt.