The football season never stops. And anyway football too never stops.
With KCCA whetting the appetite of soccer fans thanks to Caf Confederations Cup group A matches, action has not relented even after the local football season appeared to have been closed by the Uganda Cup final.
But the story that is rivalling KCCA’s continental engagements is a beehive of speculation around their key players.
Already Tom Masiko has made the audacious switch to Vipers.
With that transfer we can safely declare that the showdown in the Azam Uganda Premier League will in all likelihood be between KCCA and Vipers, both of whom have lifted the last five trophies.
Vipers with their beautiful stadium and rich owner in Lawrence Mulindwa won’t lie low when the season gets started in September and in poaching Masiko from KCCA, they showed that they are ready for a bare knuckle in the transfer window and on the field.
Lest it is forgotten, Vipers did the double over KCCA last season and have continuously been a thorn for champions in the last couple of seasons.
What Masiko’s switch proved was that clubs are going to go great length to win matches and trophies.
Twenty years ago, the soccer transfer season was as exciting as the football itself with Express and SC Villa regularly fighting for players. Geofrey Bukohore’s move from Express to SC Villa in 1998 was acrimonious and similarly the transfers of Andrew Mukasa and Hassan ‘Figo’ Mubiru from Villa to Express.
The drama episodes that encapsulated moves of the time were what defined football rivalry then.
It was almost criminal to switch from Villa to Express and vice versa. Today both clubs have fallen on hard times that Simon Sserunkuma can transfer from Express to Villa with minimal fuss.
The powerhouses in the league are now KCCA and Vipers and clearly do not hold your breath for the next major switch.
KCCA have acted first to tie up players whose contracts were nearing their end, because they do not want to lose them to a potential title rival.
Vipers, despite having a formidable football school in St Mary’s Kitende as a feeder side, have momentarily abandoned their policy of phasing promising kids into the club. They have identified KCCA as the team to weaken or the opponent from whom they can reinforce.
KCCA don’t like it as you would expect. But Vipers have done nothing wrong.
The price KCCA has to pay is that team from Entebbe road is working round the clock to pounce on chinks in contractual status of some of Mike Mutebi’s gems.
That is how football is played globally.
Some KCCA players have sensed vulnerability in the club’s hierarchy and are now bargaining for a greater deal. Leagues are made better by strong rivalries and the one between KCCA and Vipers will be one to cherish next season.
Kami departure gave Oilers rivals belief
After winning a fourth straight Uganda Premier League title, City Oilers finally released their best player Kami Kabange – a mightily talented power forward.
Kabange achieved it all with Oilers and his departure can’t be questioned. He won it all with Oilers and will be greatest player in the organisation’s history for decades.
Life after Kabange was not going to be a stroll in the park, but what it did mostly was give rivals a belief that Mandy Juruni’s team are now no longer invincible.
Three defeats is hardly a crisis for the four-time champions but the writing is clear on the wall that this year’s basketball championship is anybody’s.
That is how good Kami was!