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The FUFA Drum: Interview with Rwenzori Province coach Stephen Pritchard

The FUFA Drum tournament is aimed at developing football in various aspects including coaching. With the competition at the final bend of the group stages getting intense, one man Stephen Pritchard has attracted attention from the football family.

He is the only European handling a Provincial team in the FUFA Drum.

The FUFA Drum Media team caught up with Pritchard just before his team’s match between Rwenzori and Bunyoro at Nyakasanga Stadium in Kasese.

Names: Stephen Pritchard


When did you come to Uganda? I have spent 10 years in Uganda and specifically in Rwenzori region where I have been delivering several services.

What had you come to Uganda to do? I had come under the Community Development Through Sports (CDTS) program, an organization that deals with enabling young people to get involved in sports especially football.

And why did you choose to operate in Rwenzori region of all regions in Uganda? Ohh, this sounded a special area for me because after discovering that the area had faced insecurity of the ADF rebels, definitely the young ones were deprived of involvement in sports and needed to be helped. I was not disappointed because I found people who were talented and also willing to play.

So for those who do not understand English? Yes, I had challenges at first but I forced myself to learn the local language so as to make communication a bit easier.

Pritchard greeting FUFA Beach Soccer Association Chaimran Deo Mutabazi

And do you speak Rukonjo or any other language here? No, my Rukonjo is not anywhere good, but good enough I can pick what one has said in this language.

How did you cope up with learning the language and also doing community service? These things go together. Training the players and also learning their language as well.

What has been your contribution in sports here so far?I have a degree in Community development and have helped to revive strong school teams at King Jesus Mubuku for girls and Rwenzori High School for boys. I have also coached clubs like Kasese New Villa and Sun City.

Pritchard celebrates Rwenzori’s goal against Bunyoro in Hoima.

How do you feel being the coach of Rwenzori Province? I feel so good and proud that the local people here and the players from different clubs on this team respect me as their coach. It makes me feel special from the many other capable coaches in this region.

You are known for communicating with energy while on the touchline-Yes, when people hear me shout on the touchline they think I am harsh but I am not, only that I am always giving my players instructions. My team knows what I want and I have got a good relationship with my players wherever I have gone.

Pritchard shouting out instructions on the touchline when Rwenzori played Bunyoro in Hoima.

Your views about the FUFA Drum tournament This is a wonderful project by FUFA. This tournament has helped bring out special talents that have not been seen on the topmost level in Uganda. For example shirt Number 7 of Bukedi (Fredson Gwoto who plays for Kajjansi United) is a special player I have seen in the teams we have played. We also have good players in Rwenzori. This project should continue and FUFA uses is to tap more talent for various national teams.

What do you talk about Ugandan football?-There is a lot of wonderful talent in Uganda but the problem is, there is not much youthful development programs. Most players are good but late development fails them. If there were strong youth projects, this country would be far above most on the continent.

Rwenzori Province Team handled by Pritchard

What do you think are Rwenzori’s chances of making it to the next level? We are looking at winning our last game and we see what happens elsewhere. What I know the boys are focused.

Where would you like to see yourself in Uganda football management? I would be very grateful if I was named Uganda Cranes coach. I would be the second Scottish to manage the Uganda Cranes after my brother Bobby (Williamson).

Note: Sebastien Desabre is the current Uganda Cranes coach and has a binding contract with FUFA).

What do you think makes you capable of taking up this job? I am a good coach. I command discipline from my players and above all, good managers in the world are from Scotland (laughs) just look at Sir Alex Ferguson.

How do you spend your time in Rwenzori? I have a girlfriend here Annah Karungi with whom I have a 5 year old son and she makes my life tick. I am always with her and our son whenever I am not on duty.

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