Mulindwa: Kitende success fills gap in academy structure
For a budding player like Najib Yiga, it has been a fruitful season.
The midfielder was one of the key players in the Uganda Secondary Schools Sports Association (USSSA) Men’s Football Champions, St Mary’s Kitende, Arua in the same season he broke through as a player essential for the Vipers, champions of the Ugandan Premier League StarTimes. .
Kitende won his 10th national football trophy after beating Gombe High School 2-0 in the final at Barifa Stadium on Friday.
Kitende owner Lawrence Mulindwa reveals they have developed a strategic program to cultivate a winning mentality throughout the club’s foster school.
“After instilling a winning attitude in these players, we send them to the next level which is Vipers. Other players join other clubs and other levels of football,” Mulindwa said as he received the USSSA trophy in Kitende on Saturday.
“Ugandan football lacks suitable academies and the success of schools like Kitende helps bridge the gap.”
The former chairman of Fufa has proposed that Ugandan cranes under Micho Sredojevic’s reconstruction should adopt a total overhaul and give ‘kids’ a chance.
“Ugandan football is lagging behind because young players are struggling to balance books and football,” he said.
“At the moment we have managed to get players who excel in both areas and the national team should give them a chance when rebuilding,” he added.
As he rewarded the players and technical team with cash envelopes, Mulindwa urged them to start preparing for the East Africa trophy scheduled for September in Arusha, Tanzania, saying that he still had a “thirst for trophies” to quench.
Mulindwa credits Kitende’s school football juggernaut with ‘early and focused preparation, determination, consistency and discipline’.
He said having five-time Vipers league winners did not stop Kitende from employing student players from UPDF, KCCA, Soltilo Bright Stars and Wakiso Giants.
Vipers skipper Halid Lwaliwa and team-mate Paul Mucureezi were there to receive the trophy – and took turns hugging and congratulating the triumphant players. Both are former students of the school and continue to talk to the boys daily.
“Before going to Arua, Lwaliwa and Mucureezi told us what to expect and how to perform under pressure,” said Kitende captain Andrew Kawooya, a KCCA player on loan from UPDF.
“I am a Senior Six candidate and I would like to sum up with the East Africa trophy. I will leave behind a capable team that can defend the titles next year.
Busoga United v Wakiso Giants
Arua Hill 2- 1 Mbarara Town
Bright Stars 1 – 0 Gaddafi