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How debutants JMC Hippos have shaken the league

By Bruno Mugooda

Added 13th April 2016 05:49 PM

JMC Hippos FC, became something else in Big league during the 2014-15 season

JMC Hippos FC, became something else in Big league during the 2014-15 season

They may be unknown  but with the thin squad they have, patron Mohamed Faisala and head coach James Odoch have worked tirelessly to see JMC Hippos become one of this season's title contenders for the Azam Premier League title just in their maiden league season.  

Early Misfortunes

This Jinja based side started playing competitive football in 2005 in Jinja's first division under then head coach Vincent Lukyamuzi with team patron His Worship the Mayor of Jinja Baswari Kezaala , who built his team with a rock solid defensive lining .

He was later succeeded by Mathew Lucha for the following years till 2010 when Paul Lwanga took over. 

The team had a series of unfortunate results where they fell off in the finals of 2010 in the Super Mini play offs when they were defeated by Busia Fisheries after spot kicks. 

This team ‘s less success had its officials like Fred Kiwanda, Abaas Kawaazi, Vincent Lukyamuzi all en-dure its four year stint in the Big league as players suffered from fatigue most of the times hence having lesser opportunities to qualify for the Big league play offs . 

Hence came forth the all-important year 2011-12 season under head coach Charles Namakole. The team played around with former super league rejects as Ayub Isiko, Musa Walangalira all in the backline together with team captain Anthony Baize and midfield of Patrick Onyango who helped club leading goal scorer Milton Kaliisa who netted 15 league goals.

Kaliisa later made a transfer to premier league neighbours BUL FC. 

With Eastern football strongman Mohamed Faisal's ambitious take over as club manager, JMC Hippos FC, became something else in Big league during the 2014-15 season.

This is when the club signed one's Jinja's promising young strikers Richard Wandyaka from Big league rivals CRO FC who shared a goal burden alongside Ambrose Kirya, John Wakalaita, John Mayanja and team captain Patrick Onyango where they finished second with one loss in the league as they fell behind The Saints FC in the Elgon Group all under Charles Namakole as head coach. 

Then came James Odoch who masterminded the team to play offs finals where they thrashed Kirinya Jinja SS 6-2 to earn promotion to the top flight league. 

Rock Solid Backline

They may not have the big money players but Odoch has built JMC Hippos backline with premier league old guards. 

The backline has former Express FC and Iganga MC FC non-nonsense towering central defender who gives no striker room to control the ball from within the penalty box. His partnership with former SC Villa defender Constantine Nalumoso leaves every premier league striker restless both in air and on the ground. 

The two centre halves are flanked by former BUL FC and SC Villa left back Jimmy Jalendo and former Express FC, Iganga TC and BUL FC right back Isa Magumba who form a rock solid defense that has con-ceded 3 home league goals in the league. 

Impressive Home Record

A 2-1 home defeat in the hands of URA FC comes as their only home loss. JMC Hippos FC has had some of the most impressive league's unbeaten runs in the league.

Some of the most eye catching games at Kakindu include a 2-0 win over Express FC, a 1-0 win over local rivals BUL FC and a 3-0 thrashing over neighbours Sadolin Paints FC in the opening league fixture. 

Others include a 3-1 win over Bright Stars FC, a 1-0 win over Police FC and a resounding 4-0 win over Soana FC. 

Jmc Hippos' Attack

Despite the fact that the club has lost tough tackling midfielder Herbert Kakande in the mid-season, the club yet again found its midfield balance with the national U-20 midfielder Dan Shabena and Geoffrey Kalegga who form a rock solid shield that protects the defense. 

Upfront lies Richard Wandyaka who recently scored 4 goals against Soana FC, is now the club's top goal scorer with 5 league goals.

Though second top Musa Mugoya (4 goals) got injured, other strikers Walter Lubangkene (2 goals), Ivan Lubaale (2 goals) and industrious Abdulrahman Ajaab have all shared the goal burden that has awaken the club into third spot in the league.  

Odoch's Tactics

Head coach assisted by club's former club players  Mohamed Matovu  and Ali Kiregeya , have all worked around to create a tireless and hardworking team that loves to win matches at all costs . 

"We play with no pressure. Our main focus is to try and fight to avoid being relegated and I tell my players to play every game like a final and this makes us somehow win as many matches that come our way without pressure piling on us. We treat and respect every opponent as though they are all with the same strength so our game reads that play with no fear," said Odoch.

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