Mike Mutebi and Asaph Mwebaze are hardly strangers having previously worked together at Maroons when the former took a sabbatical from mainstream coaching to concentrate on development football for the latter part of last decade.
Mwebaze remains at Maroons as Mutebi captains a giant ship at KCCA, where he has won two successive league titles, a Uganda Cup and twice made the group stages on the continent. When the duo met at the start of this season, there was no separating the two as Maroons matched KCCA for a goalless draw at Lugogo.
KCCA now travel to Maroons, who sit comfortably in sixth place on 32 points - 11 behind the visitors and 17 adrift of leaders Villa with Mutebi heaping praise on the host coach.
Student of the game
“Asaph is a student of the game,” said Mutebi, “Who gives football time, and when you see how his team plays, you know why. Those are the people we want in football. We really respect Asaph and Maroons.”
Mwebaze, who was Mutebi’s apprentice at Maroons, is as affectionate. “It, of course, flatters me as it comes from my mentor. I have high regard for his knowledge of the game.” KCCA have been decent enough to come into this match still very much in frame to defend their title.
But as KCCA - who returned to winning ways against UPDF on Monday after stumbling in the 1-1 draw with Mbarara last week - visit Luzira, Mutebi knows they cannot afford further slip-ups if they are to remain in charge of their destiny.
Yet he is also aware of the huge task at hand. “Against a Maroons team that uses the ball well, that likes to play, we have to be at our best,” said Mutebi. “Those are the teams I like to face because they make the players think. But it is important that we win the game.”
TODAY’s AUPL FIXTURE
Maroons vs. KCCA,
4pm, Luzira Prisons Ground.