URA FC are set to appoint Peter Onen as their new head coach, as the Uganda Premier League club prepares for a new chapter after Sam Ssimbwa.
Reports first indicated interest in Onen by the Tax Collectors at the start of the month when they announced that Ssimbwa would leave the club after three years as head coach.
It is understood that talks with URA’s other prime target Abdallah Mubiru broke down in their later stages over personal terms and other contractual clauses.
And since then, Onen has been highly considered by the club’s board, with the coach now close to being announced as Ssimbwa’s permanent successor on a two-year contract.
The deal is expected to be confirmed by the club in the coming days, with URA determined to have him in place to assess the squad before the start of pre-season.
Onen is also expected to work with the current members of URA’s backroom staff. Simeone Masaba who was appointed interim head coach will remain as his assistant coach. Goalkeeping coach Stephen Billy and Ssali Biano also maintained.
While the club would have wanted to maintain Masaba as the head coach, his coaching credentials do not meet the requirements by CAF to be in charge of continental games.
Masaba is a CAF C licensed coach, but 2021/22 licensing regulations indicate that coaches in both the Champions League and Confederation Cup must have at least a CAF A license or a Pro coaching license from other confederations.
Onen is among 42 licensed CAF A coaches in the country and therefore meets the requirements to be in charge of continental games as URA prepare to represent Uganda in the Confederation Cup.
The former BUL Bidco FC boss will command a salary that is less than that of Ssimbwa, whose wages were believed to be around five million Ugandan shillings a month.
His role is also unlikely to be as far-reaching as that of Ssimbwa, with a couple of other URA officials proposed to be in charge of transfers and contracts.
Onen holds Uganda Premier League experience, guiding BUL FC to seventh position in his first season in charge in 2018/19 and also sixth during the 2019/20 season before he was sacked by the club in February 2020.
He also was in charge of the Uganda U17 team as it qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations after winning the inaugural CECAFA U17 tournament in 2017.