Barely a year old, Wakiso Giants surprised many followers of Ugandan football when they acquired automatic promotion to the topflight ahead of the 2019/2020 StarTimes Uganda Premier League season at their first time of asking.
The Purple Sharks topped the FUFA Big League Elgon Group with 41 points in a fashion which left football fanatics countrywide wondering how they were able to achieve the feat at the first time of asking.
However, the invisible hand behind Wakiso’s rapid success, Musa ‘Atagenda’ Ssebulime, who also doubles as the club’s chairman revealed that everything was planned and nothing came by accident.
“As the leading committee we tried to learn football for some time, we are doing something we have expertise in,” Ssebulime said while appearing on Eriiso Ly’eby’emizannyo, a daily radio show on 88.8 CBS FM.
“The club was able to achieve because we started by setting up structures from the leadership up to the fans. That’s why there was no collision in the daily running of the team, the chairman couldn’t intervene in team selection,” he added.
Just like everything in life, Ssebulime claims that Wakiso’s beginning wasn’t easy but after some time they were able to find solutions to their initial problems.
“The beginning wasn’t easy, FUFA blocked us from using our Wakisha Grounds Stadium and sent us to Kyabazinga Stadium in Bugembe where everything was new to both players and fans. But after three games we felt at home in Bugembe.”
“For fans, we realized that traveling to Jinja was a big burden to them due to high transport costs so we decided to let them enter for free to watch our games as appreciation to them.”
“I also want to thank the people of Bugembe for their unconditional support towards Wakiso Giants, they welcomed us and made us feel at home ,” he added.
Ssebulime, however, termed the Big League as the most difficult league due to several challenges ranging from high transport costs to poor facilities.
“Big league is not easy in general, expenditure is high especially in transportation due to long distances between the teams. Poor facilities like grounds with unplayable surfaces, hooliganism among the fans.
“But we were able to overcome all of them because we entered into something we understand better,” he noted.
Playing in the top flight is surely a different ball game, one that Wakiso Giants will be able to handle if they stick to the rule book.
“Next season we shall host our games at Wakisha Grounds in Wakiso which is now under renovation. We want it to become the best natural turf ground in the country.”
Not that they want to be in Wakisha forever. The club has also purchased five acres of land in Wakiso where they will construct a multipurpose stadium.
“We want Wakiso Giants to become the first sports club in Uganda with a Basketball team, Rugby team among others,” he noted.
The former football agent also revealed that the club is not only more than ready to compete with the big boys but also represent Uganda on the continent when the time comes.
Ssebulime described the 2018/2019 Uganda Premier League season as an improved version of the previous seasons, he also chose his best eleven of the season.