There has been relative optimism since Douglas Bamweyana and Simon Mugerwa took charge of record 16-time league champions SC Villa at the end of April.
In seven league games in charge, the youthful Bamweyana has helped the club collect 10 points from a possible 21 suffering only one defeat, 2-0 to Bul in the process to end the first round.
The tally while below average, was in contrast to the four points accrued from the club’s opening eight games leading to the departure of coach Moses Basena.
Concern however soon replaced that positivity when the club suffered an embarrassing Uganda Cup round-of-32 exit at the hands of third tier side Nkambi Coffee.
As the club plays their opening second round game against URA this evening at Namboole there appears a need for a fast start with the club hovering just above the relegation places, two points above Nyamityobora.
Villa’s opening five games could also go a long way in deciding whether they pull away from the three bottom sides with games against Bright Stars, Vipers, Paidha and an away game to Bul coming up.
In a bid to dispel those relegation worries, Villa on Thursday announced massive changes with 13 new players unveiled while seven left for various reasons.
They included Abdul Rahman Ajab, Manco Kawesa, Amir Kakomo, Brian Bwete, Edgar Luzige, Robert Kitabalwa and Yusuf Mukisa who asked for his contract to be terminated citing unfulfilled contractual obligations. Goalkeeper Saidi Keni signed from Proline should provide the same assurance Samson Kirya guaranteed last season before the latter tore anterior cruciate ligaments. He is yet to be treated by the club.
The returning pair of left back John Adriko and Sulaiman Majanjalo will be useful with the latter set to fill the problematic holding midfield role.
Former Express and Tooro midfielder Emma Kalyowa is best placed to hit the ground running among the attackers recruited to supplement Bashir Mutanda who scored 10 of the club’s 15 goals in the first round.
But they play a URA side that seems to have perfected the art of stifling the opposition conceding a paltry six goals from the 15 first round games.
While scoring only 12 goals in that period they have dominated most games with Saidi Kyeyune showing signs of life while captain Shafik Kagimu despite an indifferent first round remains one of the league’s better-quality players.
*URA FC vs. SC Villa
Mandela National Stadium, Namboole
(Live on Sanyuka TV) 4pm
*Bright Stars FC vs. Onduparaka
Champions Stadium, Mwererwe 4.30pm