Today is not a day to judge SC Villa coach Moses Basena and his deputy Nestroy Kizito.
But this Pilsner Super 8 encounter between SC Villa and URA at Namboole should give the aforementioned a sign of what they are trying to put together from the ruins.
You will notice some popular Uganda Premier League (UPL) faces like Habib Kavuma, Mike Serumaga, Manko Kaweesa and Savio Kabugo among others; only that they will be in a different colours from last season. The aforementioned could make their starts in a Villa shirt today as a new wave, with the club historicals firmly behind it, takes shape.
Watching SC Villa’s week-long training at Namboole you would struggle to guess Basena’s line-up for today.
This is because majority of the players here are a collection of hopeful footballers having their luck at a club that is equally in need of someone who claims they can kick a ball.
“I think we now have a team to play,” coach Basena told Daily Monitor after the team’s final training session yesterday.
The former Cranes coach himself knows too well not to expect much from his work-in-progress outfit.
“We are not there yet. We are still trying to assemble a team but I still expect some level of competition, some level of performance.”
Basena still has a number of Villa players that not showing enough spirit for the team as they are nowhere to be seen at training, but the coach is not losing sleep.
Forward Martin Kizza has not joined the team despite the Cranes ending their weekend regional tour, for example.
“We shall not kneel for anybody,” emphasised Basena, “Those who want us to help them, those who want to play for us, we welcome them. “We are not going to lament. Villa is a big brand that will attract those players that suit it.”
Bright Stars striker Nelson Senkatuka is one of those players that the club directors are said to have held meetings with.
Efforts to bring former KCCA midfielder Paul Mucureezi are still in vain as the player was reportedly open to only one year’s contract, contrary to the club’s minimum offer of two. Former Vipers midfielder Deus Bukenya is also expected to join the Blues, while Emmanuel Okwi is rolling off the Blues faithful’s lips with hopeful promise.
Allan Kyambadde, Bernard Muwanga and Nicholas Kasozi are some of the big names that have left Villa.
Yet coach Sam Ssimbwa’s URA, who have released quite a number of senior players themselves, also come into this with fairly unknown entities.
Joshua Kawadwa, an acquisition from Bright Stars, is one Ssimbwa is looking at for goals.
The four-time UPL winners also secured left winger Robert Omunuk from Kenya Premier League side, Tusker and re-signed Ronald Musana from KCCA.