Kampala — #UPL Uganda
#Day1 Tuesday September 12, 2017
SC Villa Vs Soana - Masaka Live on Azam One 4.00pm
KCCA Vs Maroons - Lugogo
Bul Vs Mbarara City - Kakindu
Bright Stars Vs Vipers - Matugga
Masavu Vs Police - Bugonga
Onduparaka Vs Proline - Arua
Wednesday September 13, 2017
Express Vs Kirinya Jinja SS - Wankulukuku
The number of teams that have unveiled new players, new kit and plans to boost their fans base this year indicates the 2017/18 Azam Uganda Premier League that kicks-off on Tuesday could be one of the most competitive.
"Club football is eventually picking the gospel we started in 2006, that is to professionalise. This will now trigger commercialization so that Ugandan football takes its deserved front seat as an advertising vehicle," said Federation of Uganda Football Associations FUFA president Eng. Moses Magogo ahead of today's opening matches.
The big guns SC Villa, champions KCCA, Express and Vipers have given a professional touch to their build-up to the season, with pre-season friendlies followed by new-kit and new-players unveiling. Season tickets are the other attraction being offered as a way of ensuring the stadiums are packed all season.
The likes of Onduparaka in Arua and Bright Stars have also shown intent to match the 'big boys'.
The build-up to the new season has pleased Magogo. "We need to see deliberate efforts to recruit fans in numbers," said Magogo, indicating that those number can easily be translated into steady revenue for Ugandan football clubs.
"This will eventually tap into the over sh700billion available Ugandan advertising basket through big volume club football sponsorships," Magogo added, before warning "Whereas we are now getting to talk, let us actually walk the talk through the season. Pressers, pictures and graphics are one thing, but running a pro club is another."
"Pro clubs are only successful with numbers of fans to balance the finance equation. Money must be coming from numbers of fans as gate collections (season tickets), buying genuine club merchandise and corporate sponsors targeting fans not money from individuals or organisations."
Big guns target winning start as league kicks off
Big guns SC Villa and KCCA start at home whilst Vipers will be away on Tuesday when the league kicks off with either targeting a bright start, reports UPL.CO.UG.
At Masaka, record league winners SC Villa begin the hunt for the elusive 17th title with an affair against Shafik Bisaso coached Soana.
The centre of attention will be on Bisaso who was sacked at Villa Park before being replaced by Bbosa and thus will have a big point to prove against his former employers.
The hosts will look to new signings Simon Sserunkuma, Allan Kyambadde and Mahad Kakooza for inspiration but may miss midfielder Nicholas Kakooza due to delay in registration.
The visitors have former SC Villa attacker Emmanuel Kalyowa to look up to.
At Lugogo, Patrick Kaddu and Jamil Maliyamungu turn guns against the most recent employers as KCCA start title defence with a tie against FUFA Big League winners Maroons, reports UPL.CO.UG.
A lot has gone under the waters at KCCA with last year's MVP Geoffrey Sserunkuma leaving but Mike Mutebi has confidence in the new bred to defend the title.
Derrick Nsibambi will lead the attack and the Lugogo faithful will hope he fills the big boots of departed Sserunkuma.
Maroons coach Asaph Mwebaze has spent most of the pre-season trying to resign but has kept most of the experienced players as well as exciting youngster Pius Obuya. In Matugga, former champions Vipers visit tricky Bright Stars who look rejuvenated after the partnership with Keisuke Honda.
Their record against the Fred Kajoba coached side stands at three wins in the previous eight meetings and the previous three encounters have produced one goal.
Last season, Deus Bukenya won the game with a thunder bolt of a strike and Duarte Da Costa will hope the same happens.
Tom Masiko, Steven Mukwala and Taddeo Lwanga are expected to debut for the Venoms who will look to Tony Odur for goals but they have no Duncan Seninde and Moses Waiswa who are injured.
Bright Stars' new signing Nelson Senkatuka will be the man to look out for as he tries to carry on his goal scoring spree from last season.
Elsewhere, new entrants Masavu host a new look Police side at Bugonga Fisheries Ground.
Alex Gitta's side have had little to do in the market but they will be tough to crash at arguably one of the toughest pitches in the league.
Azam Uganda premier league is back... . Catch live matches every Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday on Azam one ch101 pic.twitter.com/uV24crv43r
-- Azam TV Uganda (@Azamtvug) September 11, 2017
Ddumba Saddala is the man expected to inspire the hosts while the visitors will look to Albert Mugisa and Gift Ali, the new signings from Ndejje and Proline respectively.
Other newly promoted side Mbarara City travel to Jinja to face much improved Bul who are now coached by ex-international, Kefa Kisala. Striker Patrick Asiku will lead the hunt for goals for the self-proclaimed Eastern Giants whilst Makweth Owor will be the main man to lead the attack for the visitors.
At the Betway Green light stadium, Onduparaka host Proline seeking to protect their decent home unbeaten run.
The Caterpillars were the only side that went unbeaten at home and against a Proline side that starts life minus Gift Ali and Nelson Senkatuka, they have a very big chance.
On Wednesday, Coachless Express host Charles Ayiekoh's Kirinya Jinja SS whilst URA take on UPDF at Namboole.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING - UPL.CO.UG