As hockey faithful patiently wait for return of competitive play in the post-lockdown era, Wananchi may look to be the favorites in the title odds category of the men’s league this season.
In the men’s hockey league, you rarely get surprise performances from other teams when they come up against Wananchi or Weatherhead. Not true surprises at least. Sometimes you will see a lower-ranked team topple Weatherhead in the first quarter, and quickly get vanquished in the remaining quarters.
For the past few seasons, even before the league tips off, the men’s title race is easily predicted to be between Wananchi and Weatherhead while other teams play the brides maids role.
However, for the past two seasons Wananchi has claimed the men’s national championship, and they claimed last year’s title from Weatherhead’s grasp during the season finale at the National Hockey Stadium in Lugogo.
Last season, after four rounds of play, Wananchi picked two wins, one draw and one loss against Weatherhead.
Wananchi retained the title after accumulating 63 points, three better than runners up Weatherhead.
The pair (Weatherhead and Wananchi) however never dropped points against any other team in the league but against themselves.
It could be safe to say that even in the coming season, the men’s title race will be between the two teams.
However, following the departure of forward Vincent Arnold Kasasa to Weatherhead Historicals, one will wonder if Weatherhead’s men’s team will be on equal footing with Wananchi.
Kasasa was last season’s top scorer, jointly alongside team mate Timothy Ntumba (midfielder) who also retuned 24 goals.
Weatherhead will struggle to replace Kasasa and the main alternative they may resort to this season is depending on a rookie.
However, for Wananchi, their charges are still intact and Weatherhead might find it hard to match them this season.
The likes of Shafic Byamukama, Thomas Opio, Innocent Raskara and the like will continue shining for the title holders.
For Weatherhead, their main problem is finding Kasasa’s replacement and what they will do in regard to that matter might dictate their display next season, not just against Wananchi but against other clubs as well.