Bunamwaya SC winger Luwagga Kizito's dream to play in one of the top European football nations could soon become a reality if he passes trials at Portuguese side, Leixoes Sports Club, writes Moses Mugalu. Luwagga is set to fly out to Porto today for two weeks of trials at Leixoes, a second division side (Liga de Honra). According to details of his travel arrangements by FIFA agent, Tiago Calisto, whose TGC Global Management is in charge of the prospective transfer, Luwagga has until August 5 to impress Leixoes' coaching staff.
Local agent and CEO of Jodana Sports Management (JSM), Dan Ntale, who is the major link in the proposed move is confident Luwagga will make the grade.
"He's a versatile player and I am sure they'll take him on," Ntale says of Luwagga, who netted eight goals for Bunamwaya last season.
19-year-old Luwagga was recently called to the senior national team, The Cranes, for an international friendly match against South Sudan. The match, played in Juba, ended 2-2. He didn't score any of The Cranes' goals in the match but Luwagga was so impressive that Sudan clubs expressed interest in signing him.
However, offers from Europe seem to have appealed more to the player. He travels to Portugal with compatriot Yasini Muyimba, the 20-year-old midfielder who has been plying his trade with Rwanda's Mukura FC.
Muyimba will also try out his luck at Leixoes. The two players acquired their visas to Portugal at the French embassy in Kampala early this week. If Luwagga and Muyimba see through their prospective transfers to Portugal, they will become an important addition to the growing number of Ugandan players already playing in European leagues.
Former Cranes skipper Ibrahim Sekajja (Salzburg, Austria) and Nestroy Kizito (FK Partizan, Serbia) are some of the prominent Ugandan footballers who have established themselves in their respective clubs.
To Ugandan soccer fans, Leixoes could be a little -known side but the club has a rich history in Portuguese football. Apart from popular clubs Porto, Benifica and Sporting Lisbon that dominate the top league (Primeira Liga) and are regular in European competitions, Leixoes is among the few outsiders to have won domestic honours like the Cup of Portugal in the 1960s.
In 2007, Leixoes gained promotion to Primeira Liga after eighteen years and stayed there until 2010 when they were relegated. Last season (2011/12), Leixoes finished sixth in the 16-team Liga de Honra (second division). If signed, the Ugandan pair of Luwagga and Muyimba is expected to Leixoes' quest of returning to top flight football.