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It’s URA target for silverware

URA FC’s Hassan Kalega shields the ball

URA FC’s Hassan Kalega shields the ball

Until the surprise 0-1 defeat to Wakiso Giants last week in the Uganda Premier League, URA FC had been on a two-game winning run.

This included a first win away from home against Gaddafi FC. A Norman Namanya strike secured that victory. Therefore, URA coach, David Obua must have felt the disappointment of losing a game that they dominated and could easily have won by a canter had his players not been profligate in front of goal.

Obua had been upbeat all through the build-up to that game, and even to the point of the pre-match interview, where he said they had gone to Wakiso to win, period.

However, despite the shock loss, Obua and his charges kept the positive vibe, as they switched attention to the Stanbic Uganda Cup. In fact, they beat Kumi United 2-0 in their round-of-64 clash last Saturday, away in Kumi. They will be in Yumbe today, to take on Big League side, Calvary FC in the round-of-32 determined to make it to the next round.

Beyond this being another good platform for Obua to polish up his Obua-ball philosophy, the Uganda Cup is a good opportunity for his side to end the trophy drought.

URA’s last silverware came in 2014, when they beat KCCA FC in the Uganda Cup final. Obua said: “We look at the Uganda Cup as a realistic chance to return to the continent. And seeing how well the players are responding to the training, we can match anyone.”

At each passing game, improvement is seen in URA’s display. This has hinged a lot on the character Obua is instilling in his troops. First, Obua has promoted a can-do attitude, where by every player in his team realizes that they can play at anytime regardless of the magnitude of the game.

All that matters is their performance in training. In fact, for much of the last one month, Obua has fielded a host of breakthrough players such as Bruno Bunyaga, Innocent Kisolo, Namanya, and Geoffrey Ssekibengo ahead of the more-established stars like Saidi Kyeyune, Moses Aliro, Joseph Ssemujju, Ibrahim Dada and Ivan Ahimbisibwe.

In addition, he has oftentimes left centre-forwards on the bench, and instead gone with midfielders to play as false-nines. While at times it has not been as effective, Obua believes that unless the players are coached and given time to adapt, they will not improve and learn.

Yet, he is one coach who believes in versatility in order to be unpredictable to the opponent. But even as hot as things have turned out to be for Obua, especially struggling away from Lugazi, he remains firm. Not many of his peers in his playing days could match his brave personality. That is why former Cranes coach, Mike Mutebi named him captain back in 2004.

Obua remains that kind of individual today. And it is that strong character that he is pushing through in his team. Win or lose, he maintains the smile and, therefore, the belief in his methods. Obua does not flinch.

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