3 THINGS ONDUPARAKA FC HAVE TO GET RIGHT IN 2023/24 IF THEY ARE TO WIN UPL PROMOTION
Onduparaka FC will be entering their first season attempting to get back into the StarTimes Uganda Premier League after a tumultuous relegation season in 2022-23.
After seven years of playing in the top flight of Ugandan football, Onduparaka FC were relegated from the Uganda Premier League at the end of the 2022/23 season.
Few people thought Onduparaka FC could survive in the top flight of Ugandan football for only just five years, while others were not sure what lied ahead for the Caterpillars when they earned promotion to the top-tier.
It was great news for the town (now city), even providing a boost for the local economy. Fans hope it will happen again with a restructuring happening at the club.
How can Onduparaka FC win promotion in 2023/24?
Here we look ahead and list three things that the Caterpillars need to do in order to secure promotion back to the Uganda Premier league.
Replacing Mohammad Shaban’s goals
Shaban pulled off a massive feat during the 2021/22 season when he scored 15 league goals for Onduparaka FC, suddenly turning their fortunes around after a difficult start to the campaign.
However, Shaban has since signed for KCCA FC and seemingly been on the decline after leaving. His goals will need replacing. It will be crucial for the Caterpillars to find an on-pitch replacement for Shaban’s goal scoring volume.
It was evident last season that the club lacked experienced strikers that can get the job done when it was needed. Resultantly, they completed the season with a goal difference of -14 goals. The need for goal scorers will likely force the Caterpillars to add new faces to the squad. A young forward from a higher-level club is an option. As is another experienced head like Muhammad Shaban. But, do the Caterpillars have the money to do business?
Can Onduparaka FC become less reliant on experience?
There is a major caveat to Onduparaka FC’s ability to repeat their offensive success from the 2021-22 season: their top goal scorer has since departed the club but has not been replaced. Caeser Okhuti, who is reportedly been eyed by the club as head coach, cannot rationally rely on each of those players left at the club to be as healthy as they were last year or the other year and it will be up to a young player on the Caterpillars roster to start stepping up. Wait, is there any? Now, this is only possible if they summon back some of their academy graduates.
Onduparaka only allowed 36 goals during the 2021/22 season, sitting comfortably in the top-nine at the end of the season, thanks to head coach Dudu Bosco.
It will be crucial for the Caterpillars to replicate that success in the first full season under Caeser Okhuti, if he signs.