Can Villa's CECAFA history repeat itself?
Sc Villa's captain, Andy Musegwa and Sports Minister Charles Bakabulindi congratulating the team.

Can Villa's CECAFA history repeat itself?

After a disappointing performance locally...

By Ramathan Kasozi
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First published: May 4, 2006

Last year, SCVilla traveled to Mwanza for the Council for East and Central African Football Association [CECAFA] Club Championship, with all odds against them but managed to surprise every one by defying them.

Prior to the tournament, they had been white washed 6-0 in Cairo by Egyptian giants Al Ahly in the African Champions League, as poor as a church mouse while their mid field pillars Joseph Kabagambe and Augustine Nsumba, absconded on the 11th hour .

This all didn't impede the jogoos from lifting the prestigious trophy and returning to Kampala 30,000 dollars richer in addition to setting a record of not conceding a goal in the whole event.

It's almost the precise kind of life the Ugandan record champions are in before setting the ball rolling to Moro in Tanzania next week for this year's edition. They languish in unfamiliar 6th position on the League table, the players claim to be owed some salary arrears, the team's play maker Steven Nsereko and Joram Katendeare servingan indefinite suspension for indispline- to mention but a few.

This time as defending Champions, they are joined by their local rivals Police FC on virtue of being the National Champions, but they too seem to be almost in the similar bandwagon, rendering a question weather history can repeat its self.

The cops, are without more than three influential players, right full back Simeon Masaba and leading striker Martin Muwanga, who all went AWOL a couple of weeks ago and to worsen the situation. Play maker Robert Kimuli was the first in the mid season transfer window showing his desire to join League debutants Bunamwaya United.

The other players allege they demand some salary arrears, the administrative arm is up to now scratching their head from where to get the over 20 million shillings needed in the campaign while the technical bench has just assumed the assignment.

The Nagulu based side, making its debut in the tournment, seem to be in the frying pan as they are pooled in the group of death alongside heavy weights, APR of Rwanda, Benald Mwalala's inspired Simba of Tanzania and El hilal from Sudan, their conquerors in the African Champions League. SID from Djibouti is the other member in the group.

An acid test a waits the Ugandan Champion, if they are to dispose of at least one of the giants in the group and qualify to the last eight, a summing SID is a dead meat.

However their coach Sam Timbe disagrees that his troop is dead and buried as he says he has seen it all and can't be intimidated by any one. "Apart from SID, I know very well every group member and I have the solution for them," boasts the Brazilian trained tactician.

And who can refute the words of the man who commanded Villa's heroics last season

Unlike their fellow Blues, Villa is drawn in a seemingly fair group and should blame themselves if they don't qualify from the group stages.

Save for Moro United who will be enjoying the home support, the other members, Altahil from Eritrea and Somalian perennial participants Elman, are light weight sides that you wouldn't expect to impede a team of Villa's pedigree unless otherwise...

Sc Villa's captain, Andy Musegwa and Sports Minister Charles Bakabulindi congratulating the team.
Sc Villa's captain, Andy Musegwa and Sports Minister Charles Bakabulindi congratulating the team.

The Nsambya based team shouldn't take things for granted however, bearing the fact thata couple of players that masterminded the triumph are no longer Villa park members.

Reliable goalie Denis Onyango joined Ethiopian giants ST George while hit man Benald Mwalala who topped the scorers chart signed for the club's regional rivals, Yangaof Tanzania. The two who have chance to turn the guns against their former employers, left a big gap at Nsambya. The bosses up to now are hunting for theright person tofill Mwalala's scoring boots while the departure of Onyango greatly explains why the jogoos are in the 6th position on the League table.

The Rwandan president Paul Kagame sponsored championship will see the winner smiling away with 30,000 dollars, 20,000 dollars to the runners-up and 10,000 to the 3rd.

Group A

Yanga Africans, Tanzania

Inter stars, Burundi

ST Gerge, Ethiopia

Ulinzi, Kenya

Police, Zanzibar

Group B

Simba, Tanzania

APR, Rwanda

Police, Uganda

SID, Djibout

El hilal, Sudan

Group C

SC Villa, Uganda

Moro, Tanzania

Al tahir, Eritrea

Elman, Somalia

By Ramathan Kasozi
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First published: May 4, 2006
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Ramathan Kasozi is a member of Ultimate Media Consult (U) Ltd. . A graduate Journalist, Kasozi has more than 5 years experience reporting on sports in Uganda for different print and broadcast media houses.