By James Bakama
WATCHING KCCA get kicked out of the CAF Champions League by an out of sorts Nkana, was very disappointing.
I have seen much better Zambian teams. But the team that beat KCCA at Namboole could have easily been outplayed by a mid-table Super League side.
Nkana’s poor form in turn says volumes about KCCA’s failure to deliver. The hosts had all the chances to wrap up the game but carelessness on the field and some tactical blunders blew their run.
Just like in the previous round when KCCA beat El Merreikh away only to crumble at home, what we watched on Saturday simply wasn’t the team that made good use of its chances in the first leg in Kitwe.
But like they say, it is not good to live in the past. All is not lost. KCCA can still pick up the pieces and prepare for another campaign.
For starters, they should next time think of reinforcement. This shouldn’t be a problem now that Kampala Capital City Authority has made it very clear that there are enough funds.
Each of the team’s four departments must be strengthened. KCCA needs some expe¬rienced defenders. Defensive blunders like those that helped Nkana to advance are simply unacceptable.
More midfielders with the capability of not only holding that ball, but also creating chances, are needed. Ivan Ntege looks isolated in this role just like Tony Odur is on the striking line.
When Odur flops, as was the case on Saturday, KCCA’s attack is dead. This underlines the need for some more quality strikers.
Talents like Daniel Serunkuma and Geoffrey “Baba” Kizito (Gor Mahia), Isaac Isinde and Robert Ssentongo (St. George), Brian Umony (Azam) and Emma Okwi (Yanga) shouldn’t be out of KCCA’s reach.
Such recruitment should be considered together with establishment of a serious KCCA academy.
I saw players at Namboole struggle with basics like ball control, shooting, heading and game reading.
When it gets to psyching players, coach George Nsimbe is undoubtedly Uganda’s best manager.
But Saturday’s encounter exposed him as tactically lacking. Refresher courses in serious coaching institutes would hugely boost the club’s coaching staff.
Pessimists will say this, is too ambitious a plan. But if KCCA is to seriously think of making an impact on the continent, then they must seriously invest.
Besides the honours that come with such investment, there are also huge cash rewards.
Had KCCA advanced to the next round, they would have been just two matches away from the lucrative group stages where each of the eight teams in the two groups of four are assured of good money.
The champions earn $1.5m (sh3.76bn), runner-up $1m (sh2.51bn), semifinalists $700,000 (sh1.75bn), third $0.5m (sh1.25bn) and fourth team $400,000 (sh1bn).
Transfers of very talented players fetch even much more.
Isn’t it time KCCA started seriously eyeing such attractive paydays?
KCCA falls in disappointing fashion