It is barely three days to Gaddafi Football Club’s historic match in Uganda Premier League. The team will kick their first ball in the highest division in the face of Busoga United at Kyabazinga Stadium on Sunday.
Christened the Soldier Boys, Gaddafi seized football in Eastern region by storm, Wheeling through the lower divisions with eyes shut enroute to national leagues – FUFA Big League and UPL.
However, life in the second division where they played last season was a rollercoaster. They found themselves in the wilderness just after two games when they failed to record a point from their opening two matches in the competition. They terminated the Ssebagalas – Frank and Mike, and commissioned Hassan Zungu to get them back on the rails.
By mid season, the team computed 13 points, two shy off pacesetters – Arua Hill SC in the Elgon group and qualified for the playoffs with 24 points after finishing second in the regular season.
They then had to negotiate the Nyamityobora FC hurdle who they later annihilated 4-0 before they put two goals past favorites Proline in their ultimate game in Big league to secure the third promotional slot to UPL
It was a dream come true for the army side and they now seek to swim in the waters of the superleague without strain.
“We are lucky that we spent one season in each of the lower divisions,” club chairman – Lt. Col. Edrine Ochien said on Tuesday.
“But we are here now to stay.”
“Our major target this season is to remain in the league. We are going to study how football is played in the super league, then we shall implement our findings in the following season and compete for the title in our third season.”
Change of commander
Abu Mubarak Wamboya was trusted to command the Soldier Boys in this UPL mission. The former Vipers SC and Onduparaka tactician, who was officially announced as the head coach after penning a two year contract, also said they will play for safety.
” We are going to play exciting football that is result oriented, and If we can finish in the top ten, that will be good for us.”
Hassan Zungu was reduced to an assistant coach, Frank Ssebagala rejoined the team as the goalkeeping teacher while Geoffrey Ngalire will be their fitness trainer.
Memorandum of understanding
The Soldier Boys signed a two year agreement with Nile International Hospital in a non cash deal worthy 60 million. The health facility will provide healthcare to the team for a year.
Gaddafi has made several reinforcements to their squad to suit in elite football. The new recruits combine a mix of young talent and experience, and prominent in the group of their 27 man squad are; Jamaldeen Buchochera, Paul Musamali, Franco Onen, Yunus Sibira, Alex Kitata, Hassan Musana, Brian Kalumba and Faizal Muwawu.