URA FC CEO Henry Mayeku has given an account of his side’s poor display in the first round of the 2021/22 Uganda Premier League.
Since their last league title in 2010/11 season, URA FC has only finished outside top four only 3 seasons (2019/20 when they finished 5th, 2017/18 finishing 9th and 5th again in 2015/14).
The Rest of the seasons, they have been trying to put up a title contending performance including last season when they fell short and settled for second position just one point below Express FC who were declared as Champions after Covid19 pandemic.
However, they have failed to begin from where they stopped from last season.
The Tax Collectors are seventh with 22 points after the first round of the 2021/22 season.
In an exclusive interview with The-SportNation, Mayeku shared with us some of the challenges he thinks that have hindered his side’s performance.
Mayeku has maintained a positive face amidst adversity and is very hopefully that they can still achieve their target of winning the title because the “league is still young.”
“Our performance has been slightly bad compared to last season but the main reason for that is that we have been transitioning from one training module to another, from Simbwa’s style to Timbe’s style,” Mayeku told The-SportsNation.
“And when we went on continent we mainly put our focus there and the way a team approaches international game is very different to local games, so that took us long to adjust and that has costed us.
“Another thing is that, after playing only three games in the league, the head coach (Timbe) got sick and went through an operation which kept him away for one and half months meaning that there was a new team to implement his new style of play which he had introduced himself which made it difficult.
“The league itself was not balanced, we have been playing from behind and whenever you play after your opponent has already played, it always puts too much pressure on the team,
We have conceded more goals than we usually do, we have on four occasion lost points from winning positions which not common with us.
“We also lost some two licences in defensive midfield position and that’s why we conceded goal.”
The said players are Julius Mutyabya shifted to Netherlands and Hassan Kalega who had some inconsistence with his documents and FUFA canceled his license.
Mayeku said that such has affected their initial plans hence a set back because the registration window had closed to have replacements.
He added: “So we couldn’t do anything about it, we tried to switch different players to that position and non of them naturally plays it.”
When asked on how safe Coach Sam Timbe’s job is, Mayeku explained:
“Coach Timbe should not worry about his Job, because as a club we don’t assess performance on winning the league only, the coach may not win but we need to see positives and what we have seen in the team, is the coming of young players like Kokasi who is playing in the league for the first time and the progress of some players who have lifted up their levels like Najib Fessali who was even loaned and he is now on national team, so that progress is part of what we base on to asses the coach because it shows that the club has potential to win and that make his job very safe.
Despite a rough first round, the CEO is confident that they are going to turn the tables around.
However, he revealed that they have no plans of going into the mid season transfer market because they have enough squad.
“But positively we are scoring more goals from different players which is a good sign for team that wants to win and we think we can build on this to compete, and we expect a good season not withstanding the previous one but still our target hasn’t changed, we have two games in hand and if we win them, we will be few points behind table leaders since we can hold the game and score goals, so if we put right conceding we will be good to go.
“If u remember last season, the league didn’t end well but at the end of the first round we were leading Express four points and they went ahead to be Champions, so the league is too young.
“We are unlikely to go in transfer market because I think our team is largely very okay. And currently Kalega has put right his papers so we going to have him in second round. Jackson Nunda has fully recovered from his injury to start second round, so we still have depth and we need them to first work together and delivery before thinking of new signing.
“But we are considering loaning some players especially those who have been inactive because out of the 33 players we have, we only used 24, nine haven’t kicked a ball in the league, but all those are still considerations, we will sit with the technical team and make plans for mid season activities.”