Any Falcons fan reading this will most likely shed tears.
Barely a month after falling out with Stephen Omony over nonpayment of wages, the MTN-Fuba League former champions have lost their best and arguably most consistent players – the Malinga brothers Henry and Eric.
And sadly for Falcons, the Malingas have crossed to league defending champions Warriors, a team seemingly harbouring ambitions of achieving what every other Ugandan club have failed to do. “After our achievements last season, we set very high targets for ourselves this term,” Warriors patron Ambrose Tashobya said yesterday while unveiling the Malingas alongside experienced guard Pascal Alule, who was acquired from KIU Titans.
“To hit our targets, we decided to look out for new talents. Hopefully these players are good enough to take us to new heights.”
Although refusing to reveal the amount of money spent on the trio, Tashobya, the sole sponsor of Warriors, revealed he was determined to build his side into African beaters.
“We are trying to invest as much as we can to develop this team. We’ll continue putting in a lot of money until we are sure that Warriors can compete in Africa,” he said during the unveiling held at Rock Gardens, Kampala. Despite overpowering DMark Power to take the league title, Warriors represented but failed to record a win at the Fiba Africa Zone 5 Championship held last December in Kigali.
“We learnt many lessons in Kigali. We were exposed due to lack of maturity and these players will help us address that,” Tashobya, who is also the Fuba president, said. “We want to make an impression on the continent.”
The Malinga brothers left Warriors to join Falcons in 2001, inspiring them to three league titles, the last one coming in 2007 and the East and Central Club Championship.
Falcons have, however, struggled in the past two years and the departure of the duo leaves them in shambles. “I think I gave Falcons my best and don’t feel guilty at all,” Eric, who has been the Falcons captain, said.