KAMPALA – Murushid Juuko has been one of the best defenders in Ugandan football, in recent times.
The center-back who is capped 41 times for the National team, moved to Express FC last August, a transfer that received mixed reactions from the football community.
Some saw it as a down-grade for the player while others welcomed it, claiming that it was the perfect timing for an individual who clearly has his sights set on the upcoming CHAN Championships in Cameroon.
Many players playing across Africa use the tournament as an opportunity to sell themselves to better leagues.
So far, Juuko has made one appearance for Express FC in the 1-1 draw over Onduparaka last week.
Speaking ahead of the Red Eagles’ home clash with Bright Stars FC on Saturday, December 12, Juuko says he is confident his side will register victory.
“Our first game away to Onduparaka was not a good one and we made so many mistakes. Said Juuko.
“We have been working on correcting those mistakes and hopefully they will not be repeated in the next game.
“We have so many players that were recruited ahead of this season and it takes time to be able to play as a team.
“It will be a tough game tomorrow (Saturday) but we expect to register a victory plus a clean-sheet. We conceded in the last game but we have been working hard throughout the week so that we score goals and not concede at the back-end.”
Express FC have signed several decent players and are outsiders’ picks to win this year’s crown.
Among the new signings is captain Enock Walusimbi who partnered Juuko at the head of defence against Onduparaka.
The two are expected to be head coach-Wasswa Bbosa’s ideal central-defence partnership throughout the season.
However, against Bright Stars, Juuko will not be paired with Walusimbi who is currently suspended following his sending off in Arua.
Despite his partner’s absence, Juuko is not worried and claims they have able replacements.
“I am not worried about (Enock) Walusimbi’s absence because the coaches have prepared us well and their are so many players capable of executing his role in his absence.
“He is our captain and we will miss me but we have a very good squad from which an able replacement can be picked.”
Juuko has returned to the UPL for the first time since 2014 when he was a SC Victoria University player.
Since then, he spent five seasons (2014-2019) at Tanzanian side Simba SC before spending a troubled year at Wydad Casablanca.
Even after spending close to seven years away from league football in Uganda, the Uganda Cranes international says it is more he left it.
“It has been a while since i played in the UPL but i have been in Tanzania where the style of play is not different from that in Uganda.
“All in all, i do not feel any pressure playing here and it does not feel any different from the last time i was here.”
Express FC, through Wasswa Bbosa, claim that they are gunning for titles in the next three years and it is a goal that Juuko shares as he explained the reason as to why he returned to the UPL.
“I thought it was better joining a club that was moving forward and Express are exactly that.
“They (Express) have something big going on and i thought it would be good for me to join them as they try to achieve their goals.
“I want to be part of the success that i am sure will be evident at the end of this season starting with a league crown.”
If they can win the title this season, it would be Juuko’s second having won the first with Bunamwaya FC in 2010.