St Mary’s SS-Kitende director Dr. Lawrence Mulindwa has said that the East African title is next on the school’s agenda after lifting this year’s Copa Coca-Cola title.
Kitende were crowned the national schools champions for the 9th time on Saturday after coming from a goal down to beat 2017 champions Jinja SS 3-1 in the final played at the Kakindu grounds, Jinja.
Tournament top scorer (13 goals) gave Jinja SS a first half lead with a header in the 15th minute, moments after having Jinja SS had their goal disallowed due to infringement on goal keeper.
Second half substitute Umar Kyebatala pounced on Richard Basangwa’s initial effort that had hit the cross bar to notch home the equalizer for Kitende.
In quick succession, national U17 star Najib Yiga made it 2-1 moments after he had replaced Charles Lwanga.
Basangwa made it 3-1 as Kitende made a remarkable comeback. After Kitende’s third, the crowd new that the home side had seen the game go beyond reach and started throwing objects onto the field which prompted Police to unleash teargas to disperse them. Welcoming his team from the tournament at Kitende on Sunday, Mulindwa blasted the rowdy Jinja fans that he termed as bad losers.
“Those indiscipline fans spoilt our exciting tournament. People should learn to accept defeat. I camped in Mbale for the Fresh Dairy games and we won the Girls basketball title and from there, I camped in Jinja to lead the cheers for us to win the Boys football trophy. I am happy and proud that we won it. It was a strategic move to change the technical team and also change the recruitment process after a small school from Lira beat us in Mbarara last year and the changes have born fruits,” noted Mulindwa, who extended cash rewards to the team, coaches and managers.
“Next is the East African trophy. When we beat Buddo at semi finals to secure our visa to Arusha, Tanzania for the East African championship due August, our pursuit for the regional title started and we shall go there to finish the job. Do not relax because we want a double this year. This is a well worked out victory. We deserved to be champions because we prepared well for this championship. We had a good squad and all the players were focused for the job. It was collective display and I must say a big thank you to all the stake holders,” added the Vipers SC director, whose school has record 12 regional titles to their name.
Kitende had last won the national Copa Coca-Cola title in 2015 and the East African title in 2017. Buddo SS won both the national and East African title last year. Kibuli SS remains the record winners with 11 titles to their name in the national post primary championships since inception in 1986.
Kololo SS has four championships while Buddo SS and Lubiri and Old Kampala schools have two titles apiece. The tournament is played by students under the age of 20 years. Meanwhile, Buddo SS beat Standard High School, Zana 2-0 in the third place playoff.
A goal in either half by Emmanuel Loki and Joseph Kafumbe saw the 2018 winners at least return home with bronze medals.
A select team of 25 players (without any from Kitende) was picked by a team of experts led by the celebrated youth football specialist Nimrod Kintu.
This team will on Wednesday, 22nd May 2019 depart for Nairobi, Kenya for a special training camp. In the same vein, a pool of over 80 players was identified by the technical team on ground and officially handed over to two FUFA officials; Justus Mugisha (1st FUFA Vice President) and Bashir Mutyaba (FUFA Youth Football Development officer) to make a follow up.
Individual top performers:
Third Place: Buddo SS 2-0 Standard High School, Zana
Most Valuable Player (MVP): Edrine Opaala Mukisa (Jinja SS)
Top Scorer: Lawrence Tezikya (Jinja SS) – 13 Goals