By Edwin Kyle Kule
Busoga United’s Jerome Kirya’s career trajectory is a true example of the English saying ‘from grass to grace’. His journey thus far has been through thick and thin since he started as a small boy who has started tapping into his dreams.
The pencil-thin lad was born into a sports-loving family, a background which has provided him with a strong backbone, support and zeal to push through with his ambitious dreams.
“Football is a family thing; my parents are dearly sport-oriented. My dad was a footballer whereas mother played both football and netball,” Kirya told Football256.
His football journey seriously kicked off when he joined Jinja Senior Secondary School in 2016 from Kitende Senior Secondary School where he had completed his Ordinary level.
Kirya’s hard work and potential speak a lot about his success in 2017 as he captained Jinja SSS to its maiden Copa Coca-Cola title after defeating St. Mary’s Kitende 4-3 on penalties in the final game in Masaka where he scored three goals.
He was also instrumental to Jinja SSS during the East African Secondary Schools games in Gulu where he was voted the Most Valued Player of the tournament, but this time victory was not to be as they fell to St Mary’s Kitende in the finals.
Kirya’s growth through the youth ranks earned him a promotion to Busoga United’s senior team, making his debut in the 2018/2019 season. He then became a more regular feature in Busoga’s team last season playing in 17 games out of the 25 league games.
“Winning the Copa Coca-Cola trophy for Jinja SSS as captain and playing with some senior players in the same team during the inaugural FUFA drum tournament with the likes of Denis Isinde, Boban Zirintusa, David Bagoole, Aggrey Madoi rank as my best moments so far as a footballer.”
The Busoga United attacking midfielder attributes his success to a number of hands where he has passed to reach his current stage.
“I have passed through thick and thin but I can’t fail to thank my teachers of the game, coach Zungu Hassan, Charles Ayiekoh, coach Denis and Wasswa at Busoga United and Jinja SSS respectively.”
“I always would also like to appreciate coach Robert Kabanda and Douglas Ssemanda who believed in me and gave me a chance at Kitende SSS to feature for the school team they gave me a challenge that moulded me to who I am,” Kirya noted.
Like any ambitious and strategic player would be, Kirya has set well-articulated goals as he takes on his journey to the top level of football.
“I have a lot of dreams for my football career and among those are playing professional football, winning the league and earning a national team call up.”
“I know it is a hard journey, but I trust in God, and everything is possible if you trust the Lord, I am confident I will make it,” the midfielder asserted.
Kirya is a second born in a family of four children to Mr Moses Kirya who was part of the Nile FC squad back in 1993 and the late Kiwala Joan.
Moses Kirya played alongside the likes of Alex Isabirye, Abu Mukalazi, Rajab Ssekalye, Peter Nsaba, Fred Makokha under Coach Polly Ouma.
Ronald Mugabi, Ibrahim Kirya and Moses Kirya had a good striking combination back then at Nile FC so this tells the success which flows in the family.
As the world is still fighting the COVID-19 Pandemic. Sports is among the industries that were hit hard since all field activities are on stand still, Kirya is among those who are keeping fit through on an individual program.
“I miss the beautiful game and can’t wait to get back in action. Though the club has kept us engaged with fitness programmes am lucky that I have a small place where I train from to keep my body in shape for next season.”
Jerome Kirya fact file
Name: Kirya Jerome
Current team: Busoga United
Shirt Number: 14
Father: Mr Kirya Moses
Mother: The late Kiwala Joan
Place of birth: Jinja Town
Victoria Nile Primary School jinja P1 – P7
Kitende SSS S1- S4
Jinja SSS S5 – S6
Role models: Paul Mucureezi (Vipers SC), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Copa Coca-Cola trophy with Jinja SSS in 2017 as captain
MVP at FEASSA games in Gulu 2017 edition