20 February 2014

UGANDA : Obol takes over as Falcons coach

Kampala- All is well at Falcons despite reports of player exodus and financial difficulties, club officials said yesterday. In fact, Uganda’s most successful men’s basketball club are looking forward to the upcoming season with plentiful optimism.
“This is going to be one of our best seasons,” club patron Henry Ssemanda said yesterday during a media conference called to announce management changes at the club. “We have disproved doubters in the past and we shall do the same this year.”Ssemanda announced that lawyer Friday Robert Kagoro had taken over from Dennis Mbidde, who resigned late last year, as club chairman. Following the departure of coach Gad Eteu (back to Warriors), who led the side in their losing effort to City Oilers in last year’s league finals, it was announced that Sam Obol would take over the reins.The 2003 league MVP was an assistant to Eteu last season and featured sparingly as a player. Obol is not short on experience. He won his first title as coach with female side Makerere Sparks in 2003 and had a stint in the men’s topflight with Miracle Eagles in 2009. 
“We still have a good crop of players that can play at the top level. We, however, intend to strengthen the team with a couple of signings,” senior player Stephen Omony, who will be in charge of the club’s technical affairs, said. “We’ll work with Obol and every other member of the team to ensure we perform better than last season.” 
While Omony couldn’t reveal their transfer targets, it was confirmed that Emmanuel Ateng would be rejoining them from India during mid-season.
New chairman Kagoro said they had cleared Kenyan Jeff Omondi to join City Oilers and signed off Herbert Akhita to Charging Rhino.
“Apart from those two, we haven’t cleared any other player,” Kagoro said while hinting at taking legal action against clubs claiming to have signed Tanzanian Abudullahi Ramadhan and Kenyan centre Phillip Amenyi. The two stars have been linked with moves to DMark Power and Riham Warriors.
“Other clubs are using our good name to promote their selfish interests like securing sponsorship deals,” Kagoro stated, adding that Falcons were closing in on a corporate sponsor. To prove they were still a unit, Falcons paraded Rwandan Serge Kabangu, Peter Elugant and Steven Mwesigye at the news conference.Started in 1998 by John Ssimbwa, who passed on in 2011, Falcons have won a record six national titles including a hat-trick between 2002 and 2004.
Position: Point/shooting guard but started playing the game as a centre
2000: Joined Falcons
2001: Pioneer member of Livingstone Basketball Club
2002: Returned to Falcons
2003: Started coaching Makerere Sparks and won women’s championship
Won MVP award and league title with Falcons. Was voted best basketball player by the Uganda Sports Press Association (Uspa) 
2004: Attended Olympic Solidarity coaching course at Lugogo.
Won third league title with Falcons
2005: Won Uganda’s first and only East and Central Africa national championship. He was the team captain. 
2007: Won his fourth league championship with Falcons

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