Highs and Lows – The Captain’s review of our Azam Uganda Premier League 2016-17 season PART II - A:

In this third part of our season review series, we take a summarized look from some of the players’ perspective.

After the 30 matches, we earned ourselves 39 points finishing 8th on the league logo after winning 8 matches; drawing 15 matches and losing 7matches and we were the third most scoring team; scoring 40 goals.

This season was very dramatic especially from the start of the second round to the late stages of the season whereby almost all teams from the 8th position and below had to put out their best to avoid relegation.

It is in this very situation that we put up our very best performances of the season. We kicked off round two with that marvelous 3-1 win over Onduparaka FC and went ahead winning 6 games and drawing 5 games out of the 15 games.

Prolinefc.com caught with the team captain, Simon Monie Mbaziira and below is what he had to share with us.

Simon Monie Mbaziira:

It was a very fantastic and competitive season. We managed through it because we were playing together as a unit and all this I attribute to personal leadership and hard work.

As a team we played for each other and I think all the departments in our set up were up to the task. We tried and played a number of formation but in all, our strongest weapon was team work and trying to play according to the coach’s instructions before and during the game.

Talking about the competition, I think every team gave it their best but that doesn’t stop me from singling out one of the toughest games we encountered; the game away to JMC Hippos. Going into that game, we had registered a number of draws and we indeed felt that this was the time to get our first points if we were to gain momentum for the rest of the season. Reaching the game, though we won; it was a hard fought win; everyone gave their best.

PHOTO: Mbaziira in action aganist Lweza FC at the Phillip Omondi Stadium - Lugogo.

Round one was a little harsh in terms of coordination within us the players on the pitch which impacted negatively on the end result. We had quite a number of new players who needed time to get familiar with the team philosophy as well as the style of play. This was no more in round two hence that relatively better performance from almost everyone.

My personal moments of the season we many; the first came when we got out first three points against JMC Hippos. It was good because it lifted up our spirits. The team was playing well but this wasn’t evident in the end result.

Scoring against Sadolin Paints in that home game. The pressure was too much on us because Sadolin were fighting for their life in the premiership and really gave us a good run for our attitude, energy and mentality. The goal that kicked off this game was from a penalty and I was very happy that I managed to step-up to and did the needful.

I can’t leave this minus a mention of the role I played in the team; first as team captain and maybe as a player. Each time I stepped on that pitch with the arm-ban with me, it was a great honor because I was leading a troop of very talented players.

As a player, I was played in various positions and in all I gave my best. This gave me more confidence and I think I finished the season stronger.

On the other side of the coin; we faced dark moments as well but the ones that can’t just get off my head and out of my minds are the results against SC Villa and Vipers SC. We not only lost both matches 3-0 away but even the manner in which we lost was very humiliating because before the games, we were all in high spirits for wins but ended up losing terribly.

And maybe at a humanitarian level, in the match away to Express FC; seeing a colleague break his leg during the game was a very horrible experience. By the time that Express defender broke his leg, we had just scored our second goal but I don’t even remember leaving the pitch a happy man. May God’s healing hand be on Vincent Onyebuchi 

Taking about the coming season – 2017/2018, Mbaziira believes it should be a season of great things in terms of achievements.

What I would like to see next season is very obvious. I want us to challenge for the premiership. Last season we set a team target of finishing in the top five but living short of that doesn’t stop me from believing that we can put up a good challenge for next season’s premiership. On average, we had a very decent season and we just need to add in a little things to be a better side next season.

As the leader on the pitch, the captain was so thankful to his teammates for their spirited and wonderful performances and more so; he was very much impressed with the young stars in the squad.

We have a lot of not only young but talented players in the likes of Joshua Okiror, NordinBunjo, SaidiKeni, MustafahMujuzi, Ibrahim Sendi, David Owori among others; and you will agree with me that all of them gave us a very good push last season both at individual level and team level.

I am proud to be one of their seniors and I have always told them that they have all that it takes to turn into great players both at Proline and the national team(s) but I want to caution them; being a great player calls for discipline and hard work; and it is a work in progressive.

To the rest of the players, I thank them for believing in my leadership as their captain. We had a great season together, went through a lot of challenges as a team but am thankful to God and to each one of us that we never gave up. Let’s keep together and focused to our career goals because our dreams and achievements are a work in progressive.

The captain was lost of words when it came to the fans:

My heart almost got stolen by our lovely fans. Their endless support was loving and touching. Without their presence and cheering; things wouldn’t have been the way they went for us.

We are proud of them not because they watch football but because they love and enjoy playing with us from the stands; indeed our hard work gave them happiness and together we celebrate the season achievements.

Mbaziira score 2 goals against Bright Stars FC and Sadolin FC; both at the Phillip Omondi Stadium and these he dedicated his 2 goals to his family for being supportive to his career up to date.

Part III –B will continue on next Saturday with Nelson Senkatuka’s take.

MAIN PHOTO: Captain Simon Monie Mbaziira in action aganist The Saints FC at the Bombo Military Stadium.

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