July 5, 2022

Opinion: Bright, Stars yet second last

By Allan Damba
Bright Stars players join Nelson Ssenkatuka (11) to celebrate his double against SC Villa at Njeru | Bright Stars Image

The Soltilo Bright Stars FC project is undoubtedly one of the most promising, enticing, and brightest in the country.

Their off-the-pitch business is incredibly projected, laid out, and organized to the finest detail – at least by our standards. All that is a story for a different day though.

On the pitch, they boast arguably the best brand of football in the country encompassed in slickness, confidence, plan, and all those beautiful adjectives.

They pass that ball from the very last line of defence – the goalkeeper to the leading marksman with too much ease without dropping a sweat. They are that good. But, the results!

The Mwererwe outfit should brag about having some of the best talents in the land including Marvin Joseph Youngman, Simon Tamale, Ivan Irinimbabazi, Ibrahim Kasinde et al. Yet still, the results just won’t come.

Despite a relatively fair start to the second round of the StarTimes Uganda Premier League where they have only lost once against Vipers SC, their overall return in terms of results is alarming.

They sit in the relegation zone, 15th on the 16 team log with just 16 points. They have scored just 12 times and conceded 26 in 19 league games – an abysmal return.

The table, the goals managed, and the leaked are the complete opposite of the kind of football they showcase every time they present themselves on the pitch.

The ‘What then,’ ‘Whys,’ and ‘Hows,’ on how they got to these lows lie on quite several issues.

The average age of the Bright Stars’ squad is about 22 and should be the youngest team in the league.

Even with the experience of the likes of skipper Nelson Senkatuka, one could hit at the age-experience aspect as to why the fine performances don’t return positive results.

Ardent followers of the league will assert to you that Bright Stars are some of the biggest creators on the pitch.

That they orchestrate a mammoth of big changes in almost all the games played, but, they just will not put the ball in the net! One would even think it’s deliberate.

Twelve goals scored, is the joint lowest along with Mbarara City FC, amongst the 16 teams. Bottom side Tooro United has scored five more.

How they have shipped in goals in the 2021/22 season is alarming as well. Only four teams, UPDF FC (32), Wakiso Giants (32), Busoga United (30), and Tooro(47) have conceded more than their 26.

On so many occasions, they have had goalkeeper Simon Tamale to thank as the leaking tally could have been worse.

One would as well want to partially attribute the dismal results to managerial changes, Baker Mbowa started with the team and got sacked after a run of awful results.

Simon Mugerwa was immediately made interim head coach before Paul Kiwanuka took over a little later. However, the latter’s improvements from the predecessors have been a thing of ‘showing signs of what he can do.’

Mbowa led them to fifth with 42 points in the preceding campaign, and despite poor results this term, one can confidently say he was to later turn the tables around, – after all Bright Stars is so acquainted with slow starts to the league over the recent past.

That said, it would be utterly unfair to put their disappointing season to just one reason. A number of them have to be addressed if Ugandans are to enjoy their slickness in the league in the 2022/23 season.

Their general kind of organization which has already been translated into the structure of play on the pitch should now produce the much-needed match results.

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