Ten years ago, defensive midfielder Samari Ajobe signed for Arua Hill SC which was by then called Dove All Stars after club founder and coach Bosco Onama told him to join his project that would turn professional and big brand.
Today, the club’s longest serving player Samari Ajobe is still part of the journey of even a bigger project at least in his opinion but under different management and ownership amidst opposing and negative voices suggesting the materialization is overdue.
“It’s been a special journey with ups and downs, frustration from failing to qualify and an experience worth having.
“I remember particularly during the era of Aziz, we had so much hope that we would qualify but when it didn’t happen, it wasn’t easy to take in,” Ajobe told the club website.
Ajobe was in former coach Borin’s 2014/15 squad that beat Koboko Rising Stars 2-1 in West Nile Regional League play offs as the club attained promotion to the StarTimes FUFA Big League.
Following the promotion, the club dreamt of keeping promotion streak progressive but five seasons down the road, Arua Hill has remained a mainstay and stagnant in the same level after finishing eighth, sixth and seventh in 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18 with player cum owner Buga Nasur running the club meanwhile Wako Shababa, Bosco Dudu and Omari Loy doing the coaching.
Hopes had risen at the arrival of new owners Aziz Damani in 2018/19 season following the hefty investment by the sports loving Pharmacists but that didn’t not help much as the club still finished below the expected zone that couldn’t fuel its move to the top level.
“In the previous seasons, we lacked diverse talent and exposure as we were fully local players and coaches,” Ajobe said on possible factors that could have made it difficult to get promoted before adding,
“We now have players and coaches from central Uganda and other parts of the country and experienced players who’ve done it before like Okhuti, Agau and others with great character and ambition, players who have the team at heart and you can see it with the kind of unity and professionalism they exhibit.”
Optimistic Ajobe believes this is the final season Arua Hill will spend in the Big League because he trusts in the works of Hussein Mbalangu.
“Boss Mbalangu has all it takes to guide us to the premier league because he is tactically knowledgeable and a transparent coach,” Ajobe said.
“With the way he coaches, this might be our last season in the Big League, I’m positive.” He noted.
Ajobe who has gone through the hands of nine coaches in his decade career with the Leopards noted the gaffer is the right man with what it takes to guide the team across the red sea and beyond the desert.
Samari Ajobe, born on 11th December 1992 in Arua, Uganda is a versatile player who primarily plays defensive midfield but is also capable of playing in all defensive positions including, central defense and fullback.
He stands out for good tackles and long range shots that occasionally registers him in the score sheet.
He started his football journey in the District School Football Tournaments with Arua Secondary School in 2007. The following year, he joined Yumbe S.S with which he won the Post Primary District Championships in 2009 and 2010.
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His remarkable success in secondary football came in A-Level with Risah Standard Academy. With the Lugazi side in 2012, Samari won the District tournament, Regional tournament and lost the Post Primary Copa Coca Cola finals to St. Mary’s Kitende in Tororo.
Samari joined 4th Division side Samba Boys in 2010 as his first club. The year after, he joined Arua Hill SC and has since been their player till date.