Fourteen years later, Tony Mawejje’s football voyage has landed again in Uganda – where it all started – and will make perhaps its final trip at Police FC.
Returning as a role model, the midfielder will lead Police’s challenge for their first piece of silverware since he left the club after winning them the CECAFA Club Championship in 2006.
Mawejje finds the club a shadow of what they used to be some 15-years ago, but there has been significant systematic shift in the administration of the club to match the tactical ambition of head coach Abdallah Mubiru.
Mawejje will lead out the Cops when they get their 2020/21 season underway at home to Wakiso Giants at the MTN Omondi Stadium, on Friday afternoon.
The Cops have had their fair share of challenges, finishing just three points off the relegation places last season before the league was curtailed off following the outbreak of the coronavirus.
There is cause for optimism for the Cops heading into the new season, over pre-season, they have shown improvement under their brilliant mind of Mubiru who has overseen an eye-catching transfer period.
Frank ‘Zaga’ Tumwesigye, Duncan Sseninde, Hassan Muhamood, Eric Ssenjobe, goalkeepers Tom Ikara and Derrick Ochan and obviously Mawejje have beefed up the squad over pre-season.
A substantial improvement on last season’s 13th place finish is expected, and Mawejje is confident enough to declare that the team is looking forward to challenge as high as they can.
A win on the opening day against the Purple Sharks – a side they are yet to lose to on both their previous two meetings – would be certainly a good start towards that goal.
“As a team we are prepared for the season,” Mawejje told the club’s media before adding; “It has been a long wait but we have been training so hard.”
“We have had enough time together to prepare and we are ready. The morale is so high, everyone is ready for game day,” he added, going on to state how important a positive start is to the club.
“Our target is to win our first game and see how we can build on that going forward,” he said.
Mawejje has lost some edge of his competitive self over the years from when he played for Police in 2006, but the desire, fight, character and mentality are important ingredients he carries with him.
His presence in a dressing room with talented young players like Zaga, Timothy Oyamo, Ssenjobe and Derrick Kakooza must be a big catalyst to pump life into a side that excites as much but has fell short of producing the goods consistently.
Though his ability has been proven on football’s bigger stages, the new season provides the opportunity to analyze what kind of impact he could have on the Cops.
Police have a near clean bill of health for the game, Yusuf Ssozi recovered just in time for the game, while Mawejje has also shaken off some groin trouble to be available for the season opener.
Ben Ocen, the club’s top scorer last season with 12 goals decided to stay and is in line of leading the line with Mawejje and either Yusuf Ssozi or Zaga supporting him, while Sseninde will be pushing for a start against his former club.
Defender Hassan Muhamood, Ssenjobe and Tom Ikara are expected to make their debuts for Mubiru’s side.