The Ugandan second tier football league, the FUFA Big League, promises to be enticing as three teams seek promotion to the top flight.
Although second round fixtures are yet to be published, teams have continued to brace for a fascinating promotion battle.
On Tuesday, one of the contenders in the Big League, Nyamityobora FC which is based in Mabarara, announced the arrival of experienced coach James Odoch. The former Express FC and SC Villa player signed a two-year contract with a mandate to help the team gain promotion. This is not a new challenge to the man, who has helped two teams; Entebbe Young (now Masavu) and Jinja Municipal Council (JMC Hippos) gain promotion.
He knows however that it will not be a walk in the park. Leaders Kitara FC of Hoima are one point better in their Rwenzori Group on 26 points yet third-placed Kira United are where they find themselves following a points deduction by the Competition Committee.
“I know the team’s target is direct promotion and I have found them in a good place where it is easy to achieve it,” Odoch told the players shortly after his arrival Tuesday.
His arrival also brings with it five reinforcements including; Brian Muluuli (Kampala University), Timo Gavin (Greater Masaka), Muzafaru Ssenyonjo (Kira United), Charles Musoke and Brian Mugisha (Kireka United).
Mark Twinamasiko, who also guided now defunct Saints FC to the super division has also been unveiled at Kira United.
Elgon group leaders, Paidha Black Angels too resorted to the services of tried and tested Allan Kabonge who has two promotions too under his belt. The most phenomenal was Arua’s Onduparaka FC whom he got from nowhere and made them a force to reckon with. He left Lira United with reports of fractured relations with managers over accusations of disrespect among each other.
Kyetume, the other promotional contenders are also recruiting massively and will have some of their players tested in tougher trial matches in Vietnam next month.
Coach Augustine Nsumba hope the second round will be better to close the gap on the leaders.
“We lost many points for lack of concentration but the second round will be about perfection,” Nsumba said.
Two teams gain automatic qualification to the top flight with another going through play-offs.