By Joseph Opio and
THE race for Ugandan footballâ€™s premier coaching position has intensified with erstwhile Express tactician, Dragan Popadic(right) jumping into the fray.
Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) secretary, Haruna Mawanda revealed yesterday that Popadic had expressed interest in the â€˜vacantâ€™ Cranes post. â€œPopadic has shown his desire to occupy the job and weâ€™re awaiting his CV so as to study it. Then, itâ€™ll be sent to the technical team for evaluation and endorsement.â€
Popadic is fondly remembered in Uganda, particularly at Wankulukuku, where he orchestrated a 15-match winning juggernaut en route to the 1996 league title.
The Yugoslav, who had propelled Tanzaniaâ€™s Simba SC to the 1993 CAF Cup final, fell out with Express thereafter. He went on to handle regional rivals Rwanda before moving on to an Angolan club.
â€œSo far, the competition is tight. Popadicâ€™s reputation simply enhances this and that will give us a wider choice-list,â€ said Mawanda.
Popadic joins a shortlist of three other foreigners seeking to steer the national team in the 2006 World Cup/Nations Cup qualification campaign.
Argentine Pedro Pasculli, who recently presided over Cranesâ€™ ill-fated bid for Tunisia 2004, remains the front runner against a Briton, Allan Serris and a Slovenian, Ivosajh Scheich.
Meanwhile, FUFA vice president John Baptist Ssemanobe has dismissed the Slovenian and Briton as non-starters and said he is comfortable with Argentine Pasculli.
â€œI have read through their CVâ€™s and Iâ€™m convinced that Pasculli is still the best FUFA can hire,â€ he said. â€œPasculli has not failed us, instead we failed ourselves with the juju thing.â€
Ssemanobe revealed that Pasculli, who is at home, returns in two weeks time.