UMU secure maximum points in UFL round one

By Swalley Kenyi

"All our players have matured now. Players and officials of the team have all been active."

Uganda Martyrs University (UMU) football team manager Joseph Ssekandi has said their performance in the University Football League is a reflection of the management's deliberate move to inspire players on the team.

UMU can boast of being the only side out of 16 teams that have secured maximum points from the first round.

They won two matches away against Kyambogo (0-1) and Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) (1-2) and at home against Bishop Stuart University (7-1).

Among top universities in the competition, Nkumba and MUBS have concluded the round with seven points in three first round matches. Defending champions KU have six points while Makerere and UCU have five points each.

"All our players have matured now. Players and officials of the team have all been active and have since gained experience and confidence to deliver. Motivation is also high for everybody," said Ssekandi.

UMU finished runners up in the league in 2015 before dropping to fourth (semifinalist) in 2016. The university then sacked head coach Stephen Bogere and replaced him with former SC Villa coach Shafiq Bisaso whose achievements are visible.

Ssekandi said that the university has also decided to offer all its 22 football players in the league special meals four times a day as a way to motivate and keep them healthy for the campaign.

"It is still early to say whether we shall win the title this year or not but I can tell you we have made an effort towards it this year."

UFL organiser Samuel Akwech noted that the fact that only UMU out 16 participating teams managed to conclude the first round with maximum points means the level of competition in the league has improved.