By Ronnie Kintu
USPA Awards 2006
Rugby - Allan Musoke
ALLAN Musoke was on Monday named Ugandaâ€™s rugby player of the year for the third time in six years by the sports press.
The honour simply confirms the 26-year-old Kobs winger as one of the very best of his generation. His first award came in 2001.
Fleet-footed Musoke had an outstanding year that saw him captain the much-praised sevens team to the Commonwealth Games.
He scored the winning try as Uganda upset Kenya in the Elgon Cup in Nairobi. He also guided his club to a clean sweep of the local trophies.
Edmond Tumusiime, Rachel Kakaire and Timothy Mudoola were all outstanding but Musoke stole the heart of the journalists in the vote at Lugogo.
And worryingly for his rivals, he does not intend to rest on his laurels.
â€œI take every game very serious, make a lot of preparations before match day and keep thinking on how to play better in each match,â€ said Musoke, who was surprised about his USPA award.
â€œI did not imagine I would be singled out from the rest because I believe we all played equally well for the national team,â€ Musoke revealed singling out Simon Wakabi and Peter Magona as outstanding.
National coach Yayiro Kasasa described him as an outstanding player whose work-rate has steadily improved in almost every game.
â€œHe is focused, talented and eager to make his game better always, he is also a team player with a massive input for any side.â€
Musoke came to fame while still a student at St. Maryâ€™s College Kisubi when he featured in the schools league final in 1998.
â€œThis was the opening of my career when the late Edward Kitaka approached me and asked me to join Kobs,â€ he recalls.
He was named MVP (most valuable player) in 2002, and was also the top scorer for the national league in 2001.
â€œHe is one player that would give you that winning confidence if he is on the team. His vibrant performances make him a utility player and believe me if his side losses, he is one who can undergo a hunger strike,â€ Kobs club chairman Nathan Wasolo described him.
Given space and room, he was a nightmare for the Kenyans trampling over them in the Elgon Cup final.
On the local scene, he turned the tide of the Bell Lager league in Kobsâ€™ favour dethroning MTN Heathens.
Musoke takes former national player Victor Kalimugogo as his role model and believes it was because of him that he took on the game.
â€œAllan is an excellent and inspiring team player, very creative and liked by all other players. I always look at him and emulate his enthusiasm and agility,â€ his young brother Arnold Musoke remarked of the award winner.
Musokeâ€™s best moment in 2006 was when he captained the first ever Rugby Cranes squad at the Commonwealth games in Melbourne, Australia.
â€œI strongly believe he should be in the professional ranks by now. He gives the game his all, plays with great purpose and passion,â€ Kasasa acknowledged.
On retirement, Musoke hopes to take on coaching in schools.
WINNERS SINCE 2001
2001: Allan Musoke
2002: Robert Seguya
2003: Allan Musoke
2004: Robert Seguya
2005: Anthony Kinene
2006: Allan Musoke
Musoke gets 3rd USPA award