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Congs Villa for winning the battle, but the war has just started

It was a nostalgic moment for me when SC Villa won the Uganda Premier League.

Last season, I missed the final day drama when URA FC dented Villa’s golden chance to lift the trophy. This time round, I had a very important business trip abroad but my heart told me to forego it and witness Villa history as they took on NEC in a must-win final game.

At the game, it was refreshing to meet some Villa faces I had not met in years. It was clear Villa fans had put aside any disagreements to put the club interests at heart.

At the end of it all, I had no regrets. Villa’s win was all the more satisfactory because it extends the gap to our nearest rivals, KCCA. What’s more, we did it at KCCA’s home ground.

However, amidst the celebrations, it hit me that we had just won the battle and that the real war is ahead in the coming months. This is so because Villa has to represent Uganda in the Caf Champions League.

The last time we participated in continental football was during my tenure as club president in 2017. It was a bittersweet experience but also a learning experience for me. Of the three games we played against Jinja-based teams, Villa scooped seven points, the most by any team that visited that region.

It was a huge game-changer in the title race. But behind the scenes, the weight of the club was heavy because I was almost singlehandedly running the club.

So, Villa needs to prepare early for the rigours of continental football by having fans get more involved in supporting the players and administration.

Throughout the 2023/2024 season, I noted that part of Villa’s success has been down to the overwhelming support of Villa’s Jinja fans. Not only have they supported the team in large numbers, but they went a notch higher to feed the team in the eight matches they visited Jinja-based sides.

Of these games, Villa won seven, and it is on this background that they set a template for other Villa fan branches going forward. So, fans need to help the executive by turning up for Villa’s continental matches in huge numbers to spur the team forward.

Continental football can be draining both in planning and execution but it is assuring when fans turn up in big numbers on top of pulling some resources for the team.

The author is SC Villa President Emeritus

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