By Okello Felix & Peace Jalar
Zombo. Paidha Black Angels is one of the oldest Clubs in the West Nile Sub-region but had gone silence for a while.
Started by the business community in 1979, it was one of the clubs to reckon with from 1980’s to late 1990’s. After that, the club had a drastic drop in performance as management was not streamlined.
Now they are back into the limelight with qualification to play the Uganda Cup Finals with KCCA at Betway Green Light Stadium, the home of Onduparaka FC.
The players, management and fans now see a bright future of reclaiming the lost glory as it had been the giant club in the Sub-region by having a possibility of playing in CAF. This depends on the finance of the club to traverse the African Continent.
KCCA’s Vincent Kayizzi tries to go past Paidha Black Angels defender. Photos by Okello Felix
According to the CEO of the club Moses Keuber, in the history of Paidha Black Angels, the business community and town Council have a strong attachment in supporting the club.
“Since 1979, Paidha Black Angels is the only active team within west Nile region and entire Northern Uganda that has been in existence without collapsing. Other clubs have vanished but Black Angels has managed to stand the taste of time,” he said.
Whenever the club if playing especially within Northern region, the fans ride on motorcycles, hires cars, buses and trucks to garner support for the club. “Although we are not in the big Azam premier league we believe we can make it, we believe the club can go to the top with what we have achieved this year,” he said.
He says the club is ready to go for CAF and adds that the club has been able to manage and stay in existence and persisted due to the strong love and attachment by the people of Paidha Zombo and the Alur community at large.
“People see the club as an identity because they love it and that love has been able to make it stay due to support. The advantage is that it is a community club where unlike personally owned/ privately owned clubs that come and go due to financial constraints, this one will stay forever. It has lived to its expectations,” Mr Keuber added.
The team was formed after the overthrow of former President Idi Amin’s. The youths at that time felt the urge to form a club that would enable them expose their talents within Paidha.
The team had both football and ladies team playing in Netball. Now there is a she- Paidha Black Angels in football.
The first match that was played was with the ex-soldiers of 1979 war which saw Paidha Black Angels win 2-0 at Bar Okoro and that acted as a stepping stone for the club. When it was founded the team comprised of the players like Odongo Stanley, Owino, Mzee Kalala, Opir, Jalar Silvio, Pithuwa Albert, and Christopher Onyai among others.
The Paidha Black Angels goal keeper Rubangakene Emmanuel lifts his accolade he received as the Best Goal Keeper of the Uganda Cup Competition.
The current head coach of Paidha Black Angels, Mr Kheri Hussen Alli former coach of Morocco who was appointed head coach in January 2017 after replacing Bosco Dudu who had handled the team from 2016-2017. He is assisted by Abraham Nega Ogussi ,a former prolific striker for Paidha Black Angels.
It mainly raises funds from the gate collections that the fans and the community give during matches. Other sources of income include funds from the business community, town council and politicians.
Success comes but not on a silver plate and now, the club lacks means of transport for players and conflict of interest especially from non-officials who meddle in management of the club.
The Coach said: “This has been a breakthrough. Take an example of Onduparaka Football club in Arua, they came to lime light due to Uganda cup and now they are popular. It is our time to shine too. Uganda Cup has brought us to map, the country and Africa at large now know about Paidha Black Angels.”
When asked if the club has the financial muscle to handle the CAF games, he said: “No one should warm up that we shall leave the slot for them due to finance issues; we are going to participate in CAF because we are ready. It will be history in Uganda football that black angels a second division team side is going to participate in a continental show piece.”
The fans have been with the team since its inception.
He said the players have the skills and are now organized for any competition. Paidha Black Angels follows the footsteps of Onduparaka Football Club that lost in the Uganda Cup finals against Vipers last season.
Former player’s take
Mr Abraham Nega, a former Paidha Black Angels player and the assistant coach says there is a great improvement now as compared to the past. “The team is now more exposed to the whole country and outside Uganda than before. I am excited about this achievement and improvement and especially going to play in CAF something that has never happened before to the club,” he said.
The team captain, Jerry Adebo says the expectation of the players is high as well and there is hope for the trophy. “It is everyone’s prayer including the fans and the management that we take the trophy.
He said the payers are training tirelessly because the trophy will make history for the first time. “We are ready to manage KCCA although they are playing in a league ahead of us we as a team are working together, strong and ready to beat them.”
“Our success doesn’t just lie in this game, but also the future. If we play hard today, it will benefit us in the long run,” he said.
Aggrey Odong chairman business community says he believes Black Angles will win the trophy because they are focused and there is massive support from the business community especially financially and physically.
Sharon Adong, said: “We also have an automatic qualification for CAF and I believe on Thursday we shall win the trophy at Green light stadium. We still need to lobby for funds to enable us make our journey successful.”
Players of Paidha Black Angels line up for a game. Photo by Peace Jalar.
The success of the team now lies in the hands of the fans, players and management so that they rise to any occasion in the football fraternity.
The players and Jersey numbers
Rubangakene Emmanuel (1) and Data Said (23)
Adebo Jerry 2 (team captain), Mondua Joel 5, Sabir Nesta 6, Khalid Adegiu 13, Cheka Sabir 20, Uyirwoth Eric 30 and Rasta Otim 9, Kennedy 12, Sabit 24.
Rwothomio Cromwel Abang 7, Saidi Mzee 10, Mwaka Steven 4, Jimmy Musoke 28, Okumu Brian 16
Nsubuga Jackson 23, Rashid Magola 26, Amaku Fred 19, Nsereko Male