Friday, 22 January 2016

Ugandan ace Miya set to join Belgium's Standard Liege

Coach Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic is a hard man to please.

He is very suspicious of journalists. More often than not, the best relationship you can squeeze out of the Serbian Uganda coach, is a love-hate one.

But, if he likes you, ...if you are a journalist, you will get the exclusives. If you are a player, he will take you to the very top. 

Just ask Farouk Miya.....

Miya scores at the ongoing CHAN tournament in Rwanda, 
at a presser below and bottom at CECAFA where he 
captained Uganda to victory

From Vipers to Belgium

In our days (80s and 90s), players first made a name at club level - often three to four years in the league before they had a sniff at the national badge. By the time a player made the Cranes, every fan knew their strengths and weaknesses.

With the local game struggling at club level these days, the trend has changed, with many stars being first heard of at Cranes games. 

That aside, Miya falls in the exceptional group, the likes of Jackson Mayanja (Mia Mia) who walked from school straight into the Cranes. 

I cannot say I have followed Miya much outside Cranes but, in just one year, Micho has polished this gem!

Miya is currently captaining Cranes at the CHAN finals, and already got a goal.
Here the video of the goal:

Did Micho know his gem had been spotted?

How much Micho knew of this move is hard to tell, but his heart must have skipped when a day before the transfer news broke, I had a chat with him on the Mali draw, and at the end innocently said, " Good luck for next game. Miya looks reaallly goood."

Did I already know something? That must have raced through his mind but he simply thanked me for supporting Ugandan football, and that was it. Then in the next 24 hours, BOOOM, "move to Belgium confirmed".

Did he know? How much did he know about the Belgians' interest? How much are they actually paying? Have they actually visited Uganda already and watched Miya play in Kampala?

Typical Micho could not reveal much, only saying, "the door is open for every player and the key is consistent performance and concentration. Do that and European clubs will come looking for you, whatever your name is".

Few Ugandans have made it to Europe. Comparisons start

Understandably, a lot is at stake and thus a lot of secrecy. Little wonder it is hard getting authoritative details of the transfer fees. One thing I have learnt over the years, is that the exact figures are only known by the agents. Not even the players know!

Miya's figure is put at $400,000, one of the highest for a Ugandan. But before him, figures of well past $1million have been mentioned in the same breath as Ibrahim Sekagya and "Magic" Majid Musisi.

Ugandan greats who attracted record transfers were
Ibra Sekagya (above) to Austria and Magid Musisi (RIP) below who
played in France and Turkey. Below, Musisi was for 
many years part of a Cranes side that looked great on paper,
but achieved little on the continent. 
Micho could change all this.

Here today's stories and tweets on Miya 

STORY: Vipers, Standard Liege agree loan deal for Miya via

STORY: Farouk Miya joins Belgian giants Standard Liege via

STORY: Sport - Ugandan Miya to join Standard Liege via BBC

His club, Vipers, came out with a statement when the transfer news broke.

Club Statement:

Vipers Sports Club confirms that Miya Farouq will be leaving the club after a transfer agreement was reached with Standard Liege of Belgium.
We would like to thank Miya for his contribution and the role he played in helping Vipers lift the 2014/15 Azam Uganda Premier League trophy where he scored 11 goals with 7 assists.

Miya Farouq is expected to complete the move worth about Four hundred thousand US dollars   ($400.000) after the Africa Nations Championship tournament currently going on in different cities of Rwanda.

Miya made 49 appearances scoring 20 goals for Vipers Sports Club since graduating from St Mary’s Kitende Academy during the 2013/14 midseason transfer period.

He was awarded the Uganda Footballer of the year accolade last year after a stunning contribution to the club in the  Azam Uganda Premier League successful campaign.

Everyone at Vipers wishes Miya Farouq well in the future and a successful stint in his professional career.

Standard Liege tweets MIYA

The day started with a bit of speculation, until the Belgian club tweeted.

Also tweeting was Man United goalkeeper Valdes, who like Miya, is moving for rest of season to SL.

So, it will be Miya and Valdes at Standard Liege on our TVs.
We are now waiting anxiously for @FaroukMiya - Uganda's footballer of the year - to tweet :-)......... 

As we wait, FUFA chairman Moses Magogo has weighed in, hailing Miya on facebook

I beg to know any individual Ugandan who has dominated the news for good reasons in the last one year selling our...
Posted by Moses Magogo on Thursday, January 21, 2016

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