NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 7- With a bit of pride and self entitlement, Tusker FC head coach Paul Nkata was in a world of his own on Sunday afternoon as he led the Ruaraka-based club to their first Premier league title in three years.
Just 11 months ago when it was announced he would be taking charge of the club, no one gave him a chance to succeed where many had failed, the most recent being Francis Kimanzi who was sacked towards the end of last season.
“I said when I first spoke that at the end of the season I will have won a trophy or two. Very many people doubted, but here I am today. We have won not one, but two. I have proved everyone wrong,” the tactician, in pauses of excitement told Capital Sport at Afraha Stadium.
He savored the taste of success as he was tossed by his players most of who described him as a ‘humble father figure’ crediting his methods for seeing Tusker punch into their 11th Premier League title.
“Most people said I would crumble under pressure and I wouldn’t succeed here. Remember, I have been coaching many big clubs in Uganda like Express and Villa. They said I can’t contain the pressure. Where’s the pressure now?” an excited Nkata posed.
He has heaped praise on his squad’s team work and discipline, attributes he said were key in securing the league title as well as the GOtv Shield.
“I feel so proud of the players. We have worked together throughout the season and the level of discipline and team work has been great. There has also been motivation from the management and those are the core reasons we are here celebrating the title,” the Ugandan tactician added.
His sentiments were shared by Shafik Batambuze, scorer of the winning goal against AFC Leopards who said the squad has been like family and it was the reason they managed to wade off stiff competition to win the trophy.
Batambuze, who earlier this week was named for the first time in the Uganda Cranes squad, termed November as the best month of his career.
“I can’t even start expressing how happy I am. Things have been good for me and hopefully, it is a start of better things,” the left back said.
At the same time, the side’s decent record away from home this season has been credited to their Uganda pre-season tour with Nkata saying the team became more accustomed to playing on unfamiliar ground when they camped in Jinja.
Tusker have picked 33 of their 58 points away from home, only losing once and managing ten wins and three draws from their 14 matches on the road.
Nkata now hopes to translate the same success to the continental scene when Tusker lines up for the CAF Champions League next season.
“If I will still be in Tusker, I will work hard to ensure we do our best as well. It is a big stage and we must prepare well for it,” the Ugandan added.