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Arua Hill SC Chairman Eng. Joel A’ita Jaffer has revealed club target for the season as the team prepares for the first top flight experience in the 2021/22 Uganda Premier League campaign.
He made the revelation on Wednesday afternoon during the Endiba Yaffe Extra, a sports program that airs in Sanyuka TV.
“The first year is survival mode. Most clubs promoted to the Uganda Premier League often get relegated after one season,” Chairman A’ita revealed.
“So in our first season, we plan to understand and learn the league then the following season or after that we should have the trophy,” he added.
The Leopards qualified to the StarTimes Uganda Premier League for the first time in six years after finishing the season unbeaten, topping the Elgon Group with 30 points and the crowning stroke came when they defeated Rwenzori Group winners Tooro United, 1-0 and emerge champions of the second tier in August.
Chairman A’ita also discussed football development and sustainability in Uganda during the shame show after the program host Martin Kaddu who also works as Uganda Premier League commentator tasked him to explain the plans available that will ensure Arua Hill SC defy the odds and successfully manage the common challenges Ugandan clubs face such as financial, infrastructural amongst others.
“Sports in Uganda is taken as leisure, for us it’s business, trophy is number two,” Chairman A’ita began responding to Kaddu’s query.
“Before acquiring the club, we started building a stadium which construction is now at 70% with 150 show rooms, 4-star hotel, 80 rooms, 30 apartments, doctors plaza,” he continued.
“We sold 60% of the business, we kept 40% for Development Infrastructure which we anticipate will make 5 to 6 billion Uganda Shillings per annum and some of the proceeds will go into funding Arua Hill SC,” A’ita explained further.
“We plan to have other disciplines of sports later after establishing and rooting the football club well. We chose building a football stadium first so as to have a strong football club and change the disastrous experience of West Nile clubs against central clubs,” he added.
“FUFA is supportive when we started the stadium project and the club. The FUFA President Moses Magogo invited me for a discussion and he is impressed because his target is to see infrastructural growth in Ugandan football.” A’ita concluded.
Richard Anyama was already considered by analysts to be the best goalkeeper in the StarTimes FUFA Big League especially when he came to the team’s rescue in first round games against Gaddafi, Maroons, Calvary FC and Paidha Black Angels.
Now he can officially be considered the best goalkeeper at the 2020/21 Big League season after winning the Golden Glove award.
But at the beginning of the campaign, it wouldn’t make sense to peg Anyama as a favourite to take home the honor, and with Arua Hill’s Big League win, he accompanied that with a statement.
Richard Anyama finished the 2020/21 StarTimes FUFA Big League with most clean sheets in the competition.
“It has never happened in my life before, out of all the goalkeepers in the league and you emerge the best, you know what I mean?” Anyama told aruahillsc.ug
“It’s one of the best moments in my life; we promoted the team to the top tier league, we were unbeaten in the whole process, we are the champions and I won the golden gloves.” He added.
Anyama,25, missed the first chance for a clean sheet in the opening game after the team conceded late goal in the game against Blacks Power in March 25.
As a top goalkeeper, he demonstrated ability to restore focus even after losing the first chance as he would later reorganize himself, with gained momentum in the subsequent two games, registering two consecutive clean sheets before losing it again when Arua Hill played one all draw with Mbale Heroes in match day four.
Though his form became irregular afterwards, by the end of the campaign, at least he managed to keep it clean in games against Kataka FC, Maroons FC (home and away), Mbale Heroes (home), Calvary FC (home and away), Paidha Black Angels (away), Gaddafi FC (away).
“I thank the Almighty God for being around for us, my Chairman Mr. Joel A’ita for always being around and supportive, my former coaches for being patient with me and finally trusting me with responsibility,” Anyama said.
“I thank my teammates for this award, they’ve done tremendously well for me in getting the golden glove and also take this opportunity to thank the CEO and PRO for their endeavors,” he continued.
“We did this because we were all best friends in the team and we trusted each other, it’s a milestone to my career and wish it continues like this to the premier league.” And he concluded.
Anyama missed the first five days of training before the Big League finals as he had to attend to his expectant wife whom experts have predicted will deliver in two weeks’ time.
With little time for preparation, his fitness and readiness were in doubt, as a result he had to pave way for his immediate and available deputy, Franco Oringa.
Prior to the finals, Oringa was charged with task to take care of the post in the last match against Paidha Black Angels. He was presented with his first clean sheet after Arua Hill whipped Paidha 4-0.
His second clean sheet came in the finals when he stopped Tooro United from accessing the net as the Leopards emerged triumphant with a goal to nil.
Anyama has not remained silent over Oringa’s performance which he believes was excellent.
“My compatriot played well and kept the net clean,” he said before explaining more; “I also appreciate the competition from my posts mates, Mulindwa and Oringa, they really played a big role in developing me and I learnt a lot from both of them.”
As a reward for managing eight clean sheets in 13 games, the shot-stopper was awarded a StarTimes 32 Inch flat screen and UGX 1M.
Midfielder Rashid Kawawa confessed it’s a privilege to cause impact after his goal gave the Leopards the Big League trophy in a 1-0 victory over Tooro United on Tuesday.
“I am thankful to Almighty, the Chairman, the technical team and fans. It’s a great privilege to play a final, be resourceful and impact the game and I feel blessed about it.” He told club media.
The 20-year-old struck in the 22nd minute to give Arua Hill a deserved victory, consequently equaling the tally of senior strikers Caesar Okhuti and Alfred Leku who both already notched five goals in the season.
Kawawa’s first four goals were against Paidha Black Angels. He bagged a brace at Bar Okoro in the last fixture of the first round before repeating the same at Barifa in the last fixture of the regular season.
With the decisive goal that helped claimed the trophy for Arua Hill, it is fair to subjectively opine Kawawa now stands on the table of men at Arua Hill.
“Scoring in a final doesn’t come easily but I have practiced that during the training and built the confidence to strike when chance appears. Today, it became a reality and I am just out of words to really fully express the feeling inside.” He revealed.
He however down played the elevation offered to him, whilst suggesting there is so much to learn from Okhuti’s foot prints despite his retirement.
Kawawa’s contribution to the team’s success in Big League can never be underestimated. He initially played from bench before making a statement at Bar Okoro in April that earned him a starting place afterward.
Shortly along the way, he lost the starting role as he’d had to compete with other wing forwards in the team.
But his impressive display during training continued, with the new technical team acknowledging that, he was entrusted with a starting place in the finals and he didn’t disappoint.
Arua Hill face Tooro United in the StarTimes FUFA Big League final on Tuesday 17 August at 3PM.
The game will be broadcast by StarTimes and will show live at Sanyuka TV.
How they got here
Record: W8 D6 L0 F25 A7 Pts30
Top scorer: Caesar Okhuti, Alfred Leku (5)
Match Day 1: 3-1 vs Blacks Power
Match Day 2: 3-0 vs Kataka FC
Match Day 3: 0-0 vs Maroons
Match Day 4: 1-1 vs Mbale Heroes
Match Day 5: 1-0 vs Calvary FC
Match Day 6: 2-2 vs Gaddafi FC
Match Day 7: 2-0 vs Paidha Black Angels
Match Day 8: 1-1 vs Blacks Power
Match Day 9: 2-2 vs Kataka FC
Match Day 10: 2-0 vs Maroons
Match Day 11: 2-0 vs Mbale Heroes
Match Day 12: 2-0 vs Calvary FC
Match Day 13: 0-0 vs Gadaffi FC
Match Day 14: 4-0 vs Paidha Black Angels
Elgon Group: Winners
Record:W9 D4 L1 F20 A11 Pts31
Top scorer: Marvin Oshaba (9)
Match Day 1: 2-1 vs Water FC
Match Day 2: 1-0 vs Proline FC
Match Day 3: 0-4 vs Nyamityobora FC
Match Day 4: 2-0 vs Terrazo & Tiles FC
Match Day 5: 3-1 vs Ndejje University FC
Match Day 6: 1-0 vs Luwero United FC
Match Day 7: 2-2 vs Kigezi Home Boyz FC
Match Day 8: 0-0 vs Water FC
Match Day 9: 1-0 vs Proline FC
Match Day 10: 2-0 vs Nyamityobora FC
Match Day 11: 3-2 vs Terrazo & Tiles FC
Match Day 12: 0-0 vs Ndejje University FC
Match Day 13: 0-0 vs Luwero United FC
Match Day 14: 1-0 vs Kigezi Home Boyz FC
Rwenzori Group: Winners
Arua Hill team travelled with 19-man squad who remain fully fit for the finale after holding training yesterday at Kyebando and today in the Njeru venue, with the exception of one player who tested positive for Covid-19.
The Federation communicated 20 as their standard prerequisite for traveling squad but Borine named 19 for classified reasons.
One of team’s top scorer, Alfred Leku was excluded as he had to serve his match ban following a red card he obtained during the second last game against Gadaffi FC in Kyabazinga Stadium-Bugembe in June 9, 2021.
A shocking exclusion is regular figure Rashid Agau who started 13 of the 14 matches before he came as a substitute in the last match against Paidha Blacks Angels.
Skipper Caesar Okhuti is fully fit and ready to lead the team in a match that is likely to be one of his last as he earlier in the season communicated he would have to listen to his body.
Whirlwind striker Brian Ade is likely to start besides Okhuti or come off from bench to impact the play.
Note: We won’t know any of the above is correct until the kick-off but with most of the lads available, there is plenty in Borine’s disposal to choose from.
Arua Hill squad: Franco Oringa, Richard Anyama, Dan Birikwalira, Rashid Muhamed, Simba Sabir, Mike Kawooya, Aggrey Atandu, Aggrey Kiirya, Rashid Yakin, Paddy Muhumuza, Allan Mugalu, Sanday Aleni Benard, Rajab Kakooza, Rashid Kawawa, Emmanuel Mutebi, Baden Ogama Mujahid, Gadaffi Gadinho, Caesar Okhuti, Brian Ade
Edward Golola’s team looks unaltered and undisturbed. He is expected to front his usual forwards and attackers including the most lethal Marvin Oshaba.
Tooro United squad: Given LLukyamuz, Rashid Lubega, Huud Kakooza, Gerald Lubanja, Lawrence Kigonya, Julius Pillot, Eric Akol, Abdul Bogere, Marvin Oshaba, Pato Sserunjoji, Isaac Mpagi, Amiri Segoma, Eddy Kawoya, Abdul Karim Kasule, Musa Ssajjabi
BORINE OLIMA AHMED: THE LADS ARE PAST QUALIFICATION EUPHORIA
“Before the league started, the team had plans; one of the plans was to get promoted which they already achieved and the second one is now the trophy.
“Both are important and their importance is determined by season, this season is now for the trophy and all eyes are transfixed on it.
“Winning the trophy will be a great motivation, source for confidence for the team and a driving force to a good premier league season start and season.
“We’ve trained for a week where we’ve been driving their minds to medal through emphasizing the importance. The boys have now moved on from the qualification euphoria and are hungry to touch the trophy.
“We have watched the opponent train and there is no need for panic because it’s the same squad and Big League side. Gaddafi gave us tough time and so that prepared us so well for such a team as Tooro United.
“We are disappointed with the news of a Covid-19 case because we didn’t expect that. Nevertheless, the team has quality and depth and there is still option to choose from.
“There is no injury scare, everybody is focused and looking forward to the day.”
CAESAR OKHUTI: NO NEED TO RELAX BECAUSE THE TROPHY HAS A PRICE
“This trophy comes with price for the winner which to me will be so beneficial to us and our families.
“No need to relax, there is need to work extra hard which I believe is achievable with the preps which we had.
“There is no need to panic because I believe we are a better side and more organized and we’ll prepared team.”
BRIAN ADE: WE WANT TO WIN IT FOR FANS
“We are in good shape after working very hard for the finals. Everybody is fit and the motivation is really to win it for the fans, for the region and for the skipper who has inspired most of us.
“There is no need to panic because it’s a final or because we are playing against a team with good strikers, we truly respect them but we are not worried.”
A season marked by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic that delayed the commencement of the league until 2021, with initially the authority allowing maximum of 200 fans before disallowing with total ban imposed in the effort to manage the spread of the virus.
The season finally kicked off in March 25, but characterized with congestion of fixtures, abrupt amendment of fixtures and long distance travels despite the bumper to bumper match days.
Both Arua Hill and Tooro United however managed to play to the best of their abilities as they won their respective groups before they earned the right to the top flight football.
They deservedly will faceoff tomorrow on the artificial turf of FUFA Technical Centre-Njeru in what, if you like will be icing on the cake for whoever wins the day.
Boosted by an unbeaten record in regular season, Arua Hill will not want to settle for anything less.
With what is at stake, this meeting is likely to be more cagey affair but if Arua Hill can reproduce the level of maturity and quality inspired by the thirst to excel during the regular season the cup should be theirs.
Of course Tooro has what takes, having been here before and gained more experience but this time around their side looks a one man show whose performer is Marvin Oshaba. Once the attacking midfielder is well handled, it’s like oxygen line of Edward Golola’s team is cut off.
With Arua Hill’s defence the most solid, having only conceded seven times, and having no challenge finishing the other side, with goals flowing from variety of position and players, all it takes is one of them to show up, the trophy surely will come to Arua.
The Leopards are the second tier champions after a 1-0 victory over Tooro United on August 17, 2021 in Njeru.
Rashid Kawawa scored the consequential goal for the West Nile side in the 22nd minute.
This marks the first Big League trophy won by a West Nile side.
We are so proud of our boys!
Our latest signing Gadafi Wahab who joined from Wakiso Giants on a two years deal has said returning to the region is usual but playing for Arua Hill is business unusual.
The 21-year-old has already joined the club preseason training, with having participated in a couple of sessions, has revealed to club media his observations.
“As a player it’s important to work with a teacher who understands you so as to develop and the home factor, I played home before and know how it feels to play Infront of your own family,” Wahab said.
“But here is not business usual because of the ambition, and the vision the chairman bears for the club and how he wants to transform football in around and see the club develop, which highly calls for higher level of performance which of course is manageable,” he added.
The midfielder continued: “I have a great relationship with the hierarchy, the CEO and PRO which is important in my quest to help achieve our common goal because we’ve worked together before and so we’ll just continue from where we left.”
“I’m grateful to the fans for embracing me and trusting me, their support is massive and surely I will pay them back with positive results.
Wahab spoke of his relationship with teammate Ibrahim Faizul alongside whom he played at Onduparaka before moving together to Wakiso Giants in July 2019.
“I’ve played a lot of games with Ibrahim and we grew up together right from our days of Onduparaka to Wakiso Giants, we understand each other very well, I don’t think I have enjoyed playing in the midfield with anyone else apart from him, maybe I am yet.”
Wahab made 21 appearances in two seasons for Wakiso Giants, scoring four times, and contributing 11 assists. He has said replicating the same is one of his dreams but would want to add trophies too.
“I desire to play in Europe one day, but for now I hope to continue assisting usually, score and win titles for the club.”
Wahab, stands at 5ft 6ins and trained for Uganda U-20 that featured in the COSAFA invitational tournament in 2017 though he didn’t make the final list.
Arua Hill SC can confirm they’ve completed the signing of Ivan Eyamu from Mbarara City FC. The 20-year-old has put pen to paper on a two year deal after agreeing to personal terms.
Immediately after inking the deal, Eyamu told Aruahillsc.ug: “It’s an ambitious club with great management which has reflected their values through their achievements.
“One shot at the top flight football and they’ve arrived, to me that is paramount and the honesty from them.
“They reached out to me sometime back and we have been in touch, I like the openness and that was a great factor in my decision making.
“I have some friends, Rashid Muhamed and Gadaffi Gadinho. Infact Rasid and I still talk and he is another factor too.
“It’s a great day, new home and I love it. It’s saddening that we can’t meet immediately but I hope when all these restrictions due to the current situation passes and all things come to normalcy, we shall meet and do some great stuff together.
Eyamu moves to Barifa after two seasons in the Premier League with Mbarara City.
The midfielder also has nine caps for the Uganda U-20 and was part of the team that played AFCON finals in Mauritania this year.
Prior to the move in Big League side Kataka FC in 2014 where he stayed until 2018, he represented Amuria S.S and Amus College Bukedea in Post Primary competitions.
Eyamu follows Andama Junior, Saaka Sharif as well as Faizul Ibrahim in joining the Kongolo squad ahead of the new season.
Arua Hill put forward a statement win to defeat Calvary in West Nile derby and move closer to promotion dreams as they maintain the three point lead at the top of the Elgon group with two games to finish the season.
Gaddafi Gadinho put Leopards ahead in the 10th minute with a well placed left footed strike from Caesar Okhuti assist. A brilliant finish from Rashid Agau four minutes later on secured the three points.
Calvary had their chances as the game proceeded, they tried to put Arua Hill under pressure but lacked sufficiency and were less clinical in front of goal to deny the Leopards a season double.
Hussein Mbalangu was conditioned to make a few changes with Rajab Kakooza given opportunity to stand in for common face Allan Mugalu who was yet recovering from a combination of sicknesses and fit again Skipper Caesar Okhuti returned to the starting XI.
Aggrey Kiirya on behalf of Arua Hill in the 2nd minute led the first attack of the game when he dashed via his lane and swung a cross before Calvary goalie Norman came for the host’s reduce.
3 minutes later, Gadafi Gadinho executed a free kick with power but imperfect accuracy therefore couldn’t beat the Calvary custodian.
He surfaced again this time in the 10th minute to score his debut goal when he struck home from a distance a pass from Caesar Okhuti with his left foot, as helpless Norman was left in the near post
Four minutes later, Rashid Agau got off the mark with a fine finish that doubled the visitors lead as he waved off the pressure to score off his shoulder.
Calvary attempted to retaliate through Junior who took a free kick in the 22nd minute only to be frustrated by Richard Anyama’s gloves.
In the effort to extend their lead Arua Hill made a move through Okhuti in the 33rd minute, the skipper went past Adriko successfully and tried to pick out Agau in the box but his deliver went direct to Norman.
The official booked Gadinho shortly after that, and the 40th minute saw Andima receive a card for fouling Dan Birikwalira meanwhile he booked Mike Kawooya for complaining.
Bosco Dudu instructed for the removal of Andima as he introduced Swadick just before the end of half time but that didn’t stop Mbalangu’s lads from holding on to their lead at half time.
Mbalangu meanwhile made his changes with a double substitution as the second half started with removing Gadinho and Kiirya as he brought in Ajobe and Yakin.
The hosts started the second half brightly, with Agotre at the center of campaign to equalize but his 49th minute free kick was too direct for Anyama.
Arua Hill centre back Rashid Muhamed was booked in the 50th minute after committing a foul and the resulting freekick was shot wide by Junior. A minute later, Julius Malingumu raced through the left flank before powering a left footed strike as Anyama responded with a job well done.
Baden Mujahid became the fourth Arua Hill player to receive a warning when he was shown the card in the 56th minute. At that point, Mbalangu commissioned another double substitution inspired by the need to have fresh legs, Agau and Mutebi had to pave the way for Leku and Kawawa.
Calvary showed unrelenting interest to fight back in the 73rd minute when Adriko shot wide from close range and Arua Hill answered back after two minutes with a Dan Birikwalira freekick that Norman palmed off.
Calvary had to bring in Talib for Omar in the 79th minute as they hoped to see changes in their effort to find a breakthrough.
Rashid Kawawa in the 88th minute could have extended Arua Hill lead when he managed to move past Calvary defenders but a wrong tactical decision to try and dribble the goalie too instead of striking to the far end as they are always taught ended his brilliant move as Norman disallowed him.
Nevertheless Arua Hill successfully managed to frustrate Calvary who tried to throw everything at them in the second half, but just failed to get the breakthrough goal, they kept pushing but Arua Hill looked confident side with ambitions of seeing the game out and indeed they did so.
The win enables Arua Hill remain planted on top of the table with 26 points, ahead of a meeting with Gaddafi FC mid next week.
“The boys played as we instructed them to play, we now have different schemes to play and is determined by how the opponent plays,” Mbalangu told club media after the game.
Calvary FC starting XI: Norman, Adriko, Afema, Feni, Ahmed, Osman, Julius, Omar, Junior, Agotre, Andima
Substitutes: Andama, Abel, Swadick, Talib, Mahad, Halid, Benard
Arua Hill SC Starting XI: Anyama, Kiirya, Dan, Muhamed, Kawooya, Muhumuza, Baden, Gadinho, Okhuti, Kakooza, Agau
Substitutes: Oringa, Atandu, Ajobe, Leku, Kawawa, Yakin, Mutebi
Leopards face Hussein Kheri’s side on Wednesday 26 May, with kick-off at 4PM EAT.
Arua Hill come into the game on the back of a noteworthy 2-0 win over Maroons last Sunday, and have now won five of the ten league games.
Mbale Heroes remained 6th on the log after losing their last fixture 1-0 to Calvary FC at Green Light Stadium. That was their fourth defeat of the season.
Arua Hill played 1-1 at Mbale Municipal Stadium last month. Ibrahim Kibumba gave the home side the lead from spot kick in the 19th minute meanwhile Caeser Okhuti headed home off Patrick Matovu freekick in the 70th minute to level matters as Arua Hill collected a vital away point.
Caeser Okhuti, who sustained a groin injury in the first round during draw with Gaddafi FC actually has fully recovered but Mbalangu might want to give him more time to gain the excellent fitness
With only Oscar Agaba the only confirmed injury case, it means Hussein Mbalangu has 99% squad available for selection.
Hussein Mbalangu: We have resolved that we’re not going to chase the game
“Mbale is good, we remember how they scored against us, they are strong and energetic but we have resolved that we’re not going to chase the game, we want the opponents to be the one chasing.
“We have an idea of how they play, we shall try to apply our philosophy of attacking and possessing so that we can pressurize them.
“All the players are okay, motivated and ready to win, with the recent win, they feel more comfortable at home because we had stayed long without winning especially at home.
“It’s going be easy against Mbale and we shall score the goals because we usually create and emphasize our strikers to score and try to give lectures to defenders to keep solid to ensure we keep the lead.
“No injury concern but we shall keep Okhuti off because he has to regain fitness and be at his best and resume fresh from where he stopped but I foresee, he will be available for the next game.
“We might have changes in the starting XI but generally the team sheet will remain the same.”
Where to follow the game
Fans living in Arua and West Nile are welcome to have a live experience inside Barifa Stadium. Tickets remain the same 5,000/= Ordinary and 20,000/= VIP.
For those who may not be able to make it, check our Facebook for some updates. Be glued our club website, Twitter and Fans WhatsApp group for detail updates as events unfold in the game.
Club home and away home kit at discount
Call Shiela +256777733382 tomorrow to get your home or away shirt colors at match day offer 45,000/= only