Perhaps this is the most endearing UPDF this uniquely Covid and electioneering year. So endearing they have even put Police to order, ordering them to take off their shoes, shirt and detaining them at Bombo Barracks on Saturday.
Police were the fourth offender the soldiers were capturing on the frontline the others being Busoga United, Kitara and Bul. These sporting arrests have seen coach Kefa Kisala’s men enter the Chan-enforced break till February top of the StarTimes Uganda Premier League (UPL) table.
Yes, this is the same league with 16-time champions SC Villa, six-occasion winners Express, four-time kings URA and Vipers, and KCCA, who have lifted it 13 times. And yes, this is a team that spent last season battling with other Fufa Big League sides for top-flight football after going down the campaign before.
Replacing Stephen Bogere, who helped UPDF back up, was always going to be tough, and, yes, it is early days. But Kisala is hardly doing bad.
He got his recruitment right, he believes, and spent preseason telling his players that while defending remains a crucial part of football, scoring goals decides games. He drummed it into his midfielders and forwards that they should defend by attacking.
At 11 goals – Brian Kalumba with five – against three, only KCCA have scored more (14).
Police survived relegation last season with just 25 points from as many games, the other five matches eaten up by Covid-19.
UPDF have 12 points after five games, and if they do not suffer a magical collapse, they will have done enough early home work to avoid the drop dogfight.
Of course, it might come off as condescending to talk relegation fight and the team leading the standings now. But when you consider where they are coming from, it is also difficult to completely absolve them of the talk.
Only that this time, the talk is more about how their brilliant start – pick as many points early as you can – could be the most perfect plan to secure their next season
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