Bright Joseph Vuni has joined Arua Hill SC from UPDF. The 23-year-old becomes the second player to join us from UPDF this transfer season after penning four-year deal.
Despite displaying his potential at his own schedule other than the expected juncture, Vuni has shown his capability as reliable defender. He is known for good positional sense, and also a strong tackler.
“Happy to sign for home side because it’s a dream come true,” Vuni told Arua Hill media shortly after inking the deal
“Ever since leaving my place of birth, I’ve played away and haven’t had the chance to express myself and share what I have with my own people. This move will actualize my dream.
“I hope to do great for the club and I know some years from now, I would have achieved much for Arua Hill and myself too.”
Vuni spent the 2019/20 season playing regional league for Young Simba in Buganda, where he grew and improved as a player, and made his top flight debut with UPDF FC in 2020/21 after earning promotion from the junior side and signing for the Army side at the start of the season.
In a single season with the Bombo side, Vuni scored three goals in 26 appearances in all competitions. Although not as tall as most great headers of the ball, he nonetheless excels in the air, both offensively and defensively.
Vuni also possess good pace, power, agility and quick feet, as well as significant mental strength. Due to his versatility and range of skills, as well as his ability to carry the ball out of defense and get forward, and releasing long range passes, he is also capable of playing as a right back on occasion.
He has also featured in Masaza Cup for Mawogola in 2018/19 and Gomba in 2020. Everyone at Arua Hill welcomes Vuni to the club.
“Football is medicinal especially for many who have understood and mastered loving it with the mind and eyes. It has the potential to heal broken hearts, restore lost hope while comforting the stressed,” – Unknown.
Arua Hill SC Chairman Eng. Joel A’ita Jaffer has advised FUFA to Professionalize Big League in order to have strong Premier League teams.
Eng. A’ita made the recommendation during the third Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) – Uganda Premier League (UPL) breakfast meeting which was convened at Imperial Royal Hotel in Kampala on Tuesday August 8, 2021.
“The Big League needs to be professionalized if we are to achieve the desire of having strong teams in the Uganda Premier League,” Eng. A’ita said.
“This is possible and one of the ways is if the Federation can reign on some few errant referees in the Big League.” He added.
Chairman also echoed the need for clubs to embrace the business bit of football so as to survive in tough times. In his own words he said;
“As we enjoy the fun football provides, we need to look at football as a business. Clubs need to have various sources of business from which they can get facilitation and survival in tough times.”
The meeting also had FUFA President Eng. Moses Magogo and the Uganda Cranes head coach Milutin Sredejovic in attendance.
President Magogo shared his vision for every Ugandan child to kick the ball as he also outlined his mutual idea on professionalizing the game.
“As we look at the future; we want to score a hat-trick – Making a professional league, every child born in the country must have a chance to kick a ball (mass football),” he said before adding, “And seeing success for Ugandan players in their respective clubs and on the national team.”
“We must package well our football because football money comes from television since the money from rich-men and FUFA is limited,” he continued.
“We are at our strongest as football in terms of the people, technology and the conducive environment. It is not the time for fighting because UPL needs very strong clubs.” President Magogo concluded.
Whereas the national team head coach Micho firmly proclaimed the World Cup dream is achievable.
“I am a member of this football institution of UPL. Let us all have open cooperation. The technical part will follow all your work. The FIFA World Cup dream is a realistic journey.” Micho said.
Other FUFA big cheeses that also attended included, third FUFA Vice President, Owek. Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi, FUFA Executive Committee member Hamid “Midi” Juma, Chris Kalibala, UPL Board Member Guy Kawuma, UPL CEO Bernard Bainamani, UPL Chairman Arinaitwe Rugyendo.
Centre-back Toha Rashid has joined Arua Hill SC from Vipers SC on a two year deal after mutually agreeing with Vipers SC on termination of contract.
The South Sudan international is tied to the club from West Nile capital Arua until 2023.
Born originally in Adjumani district, with some roots from South Sudan Toha made his club football debut for Onduparaka in 2013-14 season after emerging from Mandela Comprehensive Secondary School in post primary competitions.
Rated the tallest in the Uganda Premier League with height of 6 ft 4in, Toha posses leadership skills, he is considered one of the best defenders in the history of West Nile football but he most notably made a name for himself as a goal scoring defender whilst at Onduparaka after scoring 12 league goals in three top flight seasons.
Striker cum defender, Toha is blessed with set piece skills, characterized for his ability to read play and initiate the build-up play from the first third, establishing himself as a defender with a effective game, and a fundamental-element of the Onduparaka team that earned promotion to the Uganda Premier League in 2016.
Although some folks believe Toha’s pace is questionable, they agree he compensates with his nearly sinless positional play and great reading of the game.
These technical and tactical attributes have been able to enable him make clean interceptions, and clearance besides his good defensive organizational skills and attract interest from Vipers SC which he joined in July 2019 before injuries hampered him from hitting the mark.
Announced that he has joined the Leopards, Toha Rashid unfortunately will not be able to feature until the 2021/22 season kickoff so will not be available for Arua Hill’s Big League finals against Tooro United on Friday 17 August, 2021 in Njeru.
Nonetheless Arua Hill and every Kongolo family member warmly welcomes him and wishes the commander of the air and ground, Toha who commonly uses his stamina to shake opponents off the ball and his likeable tackling ability to win balls the best in the imminent season.
Arua Hill completed the signing of the Soltilo Bright Stars striker immediately after he touched base in Arua on Tuesday before unveiling him on Wednesday.
The 28-year-old, who scored 12 goals last season for Bright Stars FC in the Premier League has signed a two year contract.
After completing his move, the goal poacher revealed the vision of the club was irresistible.
“I couldn’t ever imagined playing for Arua Hill a month ago, I was destined to go outside the country but here I am,” Ssekamatte told Arua Hill media.
“I didn’t hesitate when Arua Hill made a contact, they took me through an irresistible project and I bought it, I said this is where I want to be,” he added.
“The idea of the technical staff, the modus operandi, the picture painted is exactly of the team I’ve always wanted to work with,”
“The ambitions, and the vision the chairman bears for the club and how he wants to transform football around, and see the club develop, who wouldn’t want to be part of it?” He asked before emphasizing, “The vision is so good that I couldn’t hesitate but again the key factor is the technical team because as a player, it’s important to work with teachers who understand you as a player.”
Arua Hill have already added another attacker in Sharif Saaka onto the existing list and is still in the business of adding more as they aim to wrestle the competition in top tier football, Ssekamatte is even more positive and ready for the competition the quality and depth of squad will create.
“For any player to perform, they need competition especially a healthy competition,” said the former KCCA FC player.
“When the competition is healthy, two things prevail, positive results for the club and for the player as well, there is so much development that prevails, so as long as the competition is healthy, I’m ready for anything.” He concluded.
Ssekamatte scored three goals in two Uganda Cup appearances for his former side besides his marvelous Premier League figures, and the striker has promised to do the same at his new home.
He says the quality of Arua Hill creators will compliment him, Ssekamatte specifically points out his ‘Idol’ Paddy Muhumuza as chief orchestrator while explaining how the anticipated magic between him and the midfielder will produce results.
“I’ve always enjoyed watching Paddy play and it’s good we have chance to play alongside each other,” he said
“The composure and calmness he has, as a striker, that’s what I have always looked for because I know when I make good runs and position myself well, with his calmness and composure, he is very gifted to split the defense to find me.
“I like him because he will take risks just to execute an unobvious pass and that gives me a feeling, I’ll have chances to score. I foresee so much magic between me and him, not ruling out the rest of the teammates who the coach will decide to play.”
Brief Profile of Samuel Ssekamatte.
Ssekamatte is a strong, and energetic forward, who is known for his stamina, work-rate, ability in the air, and his accurate finishing ability both with his head and feet.
Born in Wakiso district in December 12, 1993 he started his playing career with Masaka FC in 2012.
In his football journey, he has played for Kira Young, SC Victoria University, Al Malakia, KCCA, Red Arrow in Zambia and of recent Bright Stars.
He is a winner of Nile Basin Cup with Victoria University, Winner of South Sudan League and FA Cup with Malakia.
Faizul proclaimed ‘Terminator is back’, with a promise to give his all after the midfielder agreed a deal to join the club from Wakiso Giants on July,27.
Faizul, once player of non-league side Diamond Stars from 2010-2013, before joining Premier League side Onduparaka the following year where he played until 2019, believes Arua Hill will compete in the competitive top flight football.
He summarized the paperwork of his transfer to the Leopards on Tuesday at the club office in KKT Plaza, Arua, a day afterwards explained to Aruahillsc.ug why he opted Arua Hill move.
Faizul also confessed he has been following his new side since last season, with watching some games especially away fixtures, what he made of how the team played in Big League, and much more in a chat containing variety of subjects.
Read the full interview below…
How pleased are you to have joined Arua Hill SC?
I have been thinking about it and would like to thank God that he has accepted it am very happy to join the new family.
Arua Hill is a local team (team from your vicinity), did that influence your decision to accept offer from them?
It didn’t influence as such but one thing I’ll tell you, in football players always move from one team to another, that happens but am happy to be back home.
Have you watched Arua Hill play before?
Yes I have been watching their games. I watched them play Maroons away. Mbale heroes away on TV and Gadafi away on TV.
What would you say about the way they play? Would you say you admire it?
I was impressed. They meant business and was happy with their display.
How successful do you anticipate Arua Hill to be in their debute season in Uganda Premier League?
The Premier League is competitive, which is inspirational. We are going to compete to make sure that we achieve our targets which is soon coming.
The Premier League is another dimension all together and it’s new level with new devils, as an experienced UPL player, how can Arua Hill ensure continuity and sustainability in the league?
Preparation is key which they are already doing. My arrival and others that have been signed and others that are yet to be signed is a big step towards ensuring sustainability and continuity.
I think they are already doing the right thing and once all is well assembled, everyone will mean business and with concentration all things will be possible.
You have some OBs in Arua Hill, what really does that mean for you in relation to working and producing results and how much are you looking forward to meeting them?
It’s exciting, I can’t wait because we’ve known each other and with some of them our relationship goes beyond football. I get a feeling it will be easy for us to achieve our targets
As a footballer who has played for quite some time, what is it that you feel you haven’t done well in the previous seasons with previous clubs and hope to do in your new home?
I want to be a champion by the end of season and get medals. If not? why not?
What do you hope to contribute or bring to the Arua Hill team and what are you expectations from your Arua Hill team mates?
I like using my energy and definitely that, I will freely offer and I expect us to work together. Each one of us has something unique and together, we can become unstoppable.
How would you describe your style of play?
I like passing football.
What would you say are your technical and tactical strengths and weakness?
Always aggressive when in the field of play.
Is that why they call you Terminator?
I guess yeah. The fans thought I terminate the opponents’ moves like Arnold Schwarzenegger would do in the movie ‘The Terminator’. They also thought I protect the ball well.
I remember while playing for Onduparaka, I think against Vipers SC in 2015, when we won 1-0 courtesy of Shaban goal. I got a ball from an opponent and he was coming to fight back and I used my body to shield him and since then they started to call me Terminator.
There is already a very positive vibe and reception by the fans since the announcement of your arrival was made, this must make you feel over the moon?
First I want to thank God for bringing me back home and want to thank the management of Arua Hill and the fans for accepting and embracing me.
Any message to the Arua Hill fans, and management?
What I can tell them is that Terminator is back and ready to work with them and happy to work with them.
Saaka Sharif completed his move to Arua Hill from Kyetume FC after agreeing to a three year deal with the Leopards earlier in the month and officially became a Kongolo player on July 8, 2021.
Saaka scored 46 goals in 112 appearances across five seasons with Kyetume, with eight of the 46 goals coming from his last season with the Kyetume before the Mukono side was relegated to the Big League.
Speaking to Aruahillsc.ug after the move was publicly announced on Monday, Saaka said:
“Yeah, there were offers, talk of Mbarara City, UPDF and Kyetume FC,” he opened up before revealing why he chose the Leopards, “I choose Arua Hill because of its visions and ambitions of conquering local and international football so I wanted to be part of that family.”
The winger is not new to some of our players after spending five days at Onduparaka in 2019 where he had the chance to train with Caesar Okhuti, Richard Anyama, Rashid Muhamed before the deal fell through.
He is also friends with Allan Mugalu, Dan Birikwalira and Mike Kawooya with whom they featured together for Buganda region in the drum tournament. According to Saaka, the presence of the mentioned players will ease his settlement.
“To be honest, I will miss my home, my family but given the fact that I have so many people in the team that I’m familiar with, I have hopes that will ease my settlement and that can impact my performance positively,” Saaka said.
“Rashid Muhamed, Dan Birikwalira, Allan Mugalu, Richard Anyama, Mike Kawooya, Captain Caesar Okhuti will not make feel lonely, they will not only help me fit in the club but society.
Saaka plays as a winger or striker, though he is more comfortable as a winger. He is blessed with good speed, shooting power and dribbling skills that makes defenders retreat when he commits to advance.
He is also a good passer of the ball and posses some good level of vision no wonder his 22 assists in two spells with Kyetume FC.
Saaka while admitting the goals and assists are a good milestone, has set a fresh target, with interest of achieving it in his new home.
“Within the next two years I want a trophy whether it’s Uganda Cup or the League Cup and I would be proud to see Arua Hill representing Uganda on the continent.”
Saaka, who has so far spent majority of his career at Kyetume since joining in 2015 started his footballing journey in 2013 with 4th div side Muyuge Industries in Eastern region, that season he was the top scorer with 15 goals.
He has also previously represented Lions FC of Seychelles in 2018.
A win is all that is needed for us to clinch automatic promotion. Our upcoming fixture against Gaddafi at Kyabazinga Stadium offers us a huge chance to do just that.
Both sides know what is at stake ahead of Wednesday clash. For Arua Hill, a win means direct promotion. Whereas Gaddafi also has chance for direct access to top flight but have to start preparation with a win against us.
Though, as Hussein Mbalangu has experienced and very well understands following their first round meeting that ended 2-2, Hassan Zungu and Co shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Arua Hill threw away the chance to collect it all after allowing the visitors come twice from behind to level matters last April in Arua.
Gaddafi in their last time out registered a 6-2 win against Paidha Black Angels. They have not shown mercy recently and will want to double their ruthlessness but Arua Hill will want to ensure that does not happen.
When the second round commenced, Arua Hill drew their first two games before embarking on a spell of three wins allowing them to break-off from the immediate followers Gaddafi, Blacks Power and Kataka with three points clear.
A bounce back performance against Maroons and Mbale Heroes was needed and that’s exactly what the Leopards provided. Consistence against West Nile counterparts Calvary FC was also required last time out, they lived to the billing.
A more than deserved 2-0 victory at Greenlight Stadium has put the Leopards at the verge of first time Uganda Premier League appearance after five failed attempts.
Okhuti could continue to play in the starting XI following his first start last Sunday since obtaining a groin damage in April against the same opponents.
The availability of Arua Hill’s offensive midfielder Allan Mugalu was confirmed by the head coach Hussein Mbalangu today after their last training session held at Jinja SS play grounds.
Gadaffi Gadinho didn’t travel due to obvious ineligibility for the game after receiving his third Yellow card during the 2-0 win over Calvary.
Mbalangu during press talk admits Mugalu’s return is beneficial, discusses rearrangement of fixture and our opponents
“We are in a new normal, we know anything can happen and we’re expecting such no wonder we came very early incase of any problem, we are already in the site,” Mbalangu revealed during press talk after today’s morning session.
“It has a way of disorganizing because we had to travel the whole day, so we needed at least to rest but now we can not rest. That’s why we have come and trained the kind of training we normally don’t do in the last session, but we had to kill the fatigue and maintain the fitness,” he added.
“But the session has been okay, no body is injured, nobody is showing tiredness, their body is good and is adaptable.
“For us we always handle game per game, I know their targets are like ours which is to earn promotion. They play good game and equally us so people will watch interesting football.
“It’s very good he has returned and the team is complete. We are happy Mugalu is back and looks sharp in front of goal in our last training and his movement is okay. I guess he is fully recovered and that’s helpful in tomorrow’s game.”
Jolikiba’s view about the clash
Arua Hill may be away from home but are favorites to win this match because they have direct promotion to play for and wouldn’t want to risk it.
The hosts of course have similar ambition but they need to win both games and the pressure that comes with is another case to deal with, which gives the visitors many more reason for motivation.
Incase Arua Hill plays to the bar they’ve set the past three games and same game management, attitude and approach they had in games against Maroons, Mbale Heroes and Calvary is applied, then promotion for the West Nile outfit is sure to be secured tomorrow.
Of course in football, anything is possible and surprises have been witnessed time and again. It isn’t obviously going to be a walk in the park, Arua Hill will throb because Gaddafi has what it takes to create that scenario and cause frustration but once Arua Hill deals with complacency and handles the game with iron hands, Hassan Zungu will not replicate his ways like he did in the reverse fixture.
Arua Hill is one of the best if not the best team in FUFA Big League this season across both groups. Their arsenal and prowess speaks through the goals as they’ve scored the highest goals (21) in 12 games.
The backline has conceded the least (7) and has been as solid as an ice block kept in a deep freezer with seven clean sheets recorded, four in the first round and three in the second round and though playing away, records don’t suggest Gaddafi an indestructible side at home as they’ve already lost up to three at home, that in itself points to Leopards’ win and promotion.
Where to get updates
As usual, our media team is excited to keep you updated through the club social media pages including Twitter, Facebook and Whatsapp. The game will also be broadcast by StarTimes and will show live at 3PM EAT on Sanyuka TV
Baden Mujahid couldn’t hide his gratitude and excitement after netting Arua Hill’s second goal in Barifa to seal their victory over Mbale Heroes in the StarTimes FUFA Big League.
The Leopards forward finally got off the mark after previously assisting six goals in the past ten league matches, by scoring in a world class manner on Wednesday afternoon.
Baden dribbled past more than three Mbale Heroes defenders before dinking home in the 90th minute to give Arua Hill a 2-0 win to retain at Barifa.
Hussein Mbalangu had seen his side score as early as 2nd minute through Allan Mugalu header off Gadafi Gadinho swing but struggled to double advantage as they faced a rough and hard tackling opponent, with the worst happening when substitute Brian Ade only lasted two minutes in the pitch before Mbale Heroes goalkeeper Hilbert Hatimu’s rough tackle left him injured and incapacitated to continue but Baden exquisite finish at the brink of full-time saw Hussein Kehri and Co succumb to absolute defeat.
And Arua Hill fans were treated to the superb piece of individual brilliance from Baden to crown off a beautiful victory. After the game, Baden told club media:” We are happy we scored the two goals without conceding God willingly we are headed to where we want to be.
“The game has been physical. It was all about fighting, fighting, fighting! It wasn’t our game because today we didn’t play our game.
“We were fighting for the second ball, it was all about fighting, that’s why we delayed to add another goal but thank God that in the last minute we got the second goal.
“There were opponents around me but I decided to go for goal because I was seeing the keeper was off his line so I had to close him up abit, I saw Kawawa was in good position but sometimes it’s good thing to believe that you can dribble the opponent, commit and be clinical, that’s what I have done today.
“It’s about self believe, I remember telling you I can play where the coach decides because I’ve got the capability of playing because I believe in myself that I can play, and play under instruction. That’s what I have done today because coach told me to go to the left wing and play from there.
“It’s an opportunity for a right footed player to play in the left wing because whenever you break, you’re always seeing the goal.
“While playing in the right, I create a lot of goals because from the right, I have to cross, and cross, and cross, to score from the right side is a bonus but when you play a little bit from the left, when you dribble an opponent, usually the goal is visible but it’s upon you to make a decision to score or provide an assist.
While Baden highlighted his moment of performance, the gaffer Hussein Mbalangu cheered the Arua Hill star during the post match talk.
“As I told you days ago, I pray he maintains the form he has since the restart of the second round,” Mbalangu said.
“The way he plays, he has scored a beautiful goal. All the goals today were good, he participated in the build up of Mugalu’s goal and the his cool finish.
“I think the way we’re talking to him is having positive impact and he is concentrating.
Baden and his Leopards team-mates charged to the left corner where Arua Hill fans were moral boosting to share the moment of joy without physical contact though after Baden bagged the late coup de grâce.
Mbalangu’s side lead Elgon Group of the Big League. In the meantime Baden has helped top off a memorable month for Arua Hill and they can confidently wait for their next challenge against Calvary FC slated for 6/06/2021 at Greenlight Stadium.
After Arua Hill scored two unanswered goals to overcame Maroons FC on Sunday at Barifa, the Leopards defender discussed with the media how they managed to keep clean sheet.
For Kawooya who scored the opening goal before assisting Allan Mugalu to finish the business, the goals and assists was not the source of delight but the team’s ability to protect them.
“I am excited for the three points and the goal I scored and the assist I made,” Kawooya said.
“But I take delight more to see us protect the goals because we’ve often throw away our lead.
“We had to sit down and discuss the mistakes because goals come after mistakes. We had to look into our mistakes and correct them after receiving detailed lectures from the technical observers.
Kawooya’s goal against Muhammad Ssenfuma’s charges isn’t the first, he scored in Arua Hill’s 3-2 win over UPDF in first leg of Uganda Cup last month. He has promised with the presence of Dan Birikwalira whose throw-ins are pinpoint, more goals are yet to come.
“Dan’s contribution to goals is of great help to us. He is so perfect that he picks one person to throw to,” Kawooya revealed.
“That’s why I always go there when he is about to throw-in the ball and he is always aiming at me such that I could also brush for those ones behind me to increase our scoring chances.
“We are actually still scoring and I am also still scoring as long as I still have my teammates and we are working and when we are together, we shall score more goals.”
Arua Hill may be leading the table, but Kawooya cautions against relaxation. He speaks against comfort zone as he bemoans opponents winning mentality.
“The results are okay, and we’re still looking for more points, even those chasing us are also on our back, we just have to win the games so that we can create a difference.
“It’s bad our competitors are also winning, if they were losing, we would be in a comfort zone but with the current state, we can’t be comfortable.” He summarized.