PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: How watermelon dealer almost won a career in goal keeping

Practice makes perfect BUT old habits die hard

Fulugensio was a prominent ‘businessman’ who dealt in purchase of fruits from farmers down in the village of Kyakamunya. He would buy pinneapples, pawpaws, mangoes, jack fruit, mention it but his speciality mostly was Watermelons.

He had done this for 8 good years and like any other business, he had attained what you would term world class experience in what he did.

Every Friday, Fulugensio would drive his pickup car (Lukumi mu bibiri) registration number UUV 237 to a convenient location where various farmers would converge with their watermelons.

He would then inspect whatever each farmer had for him that day and he would tell them how much he would be paying to everyone of them. When the negotiation was done, next would be time to load the Melons onto the pickup.

In order to save time, Fulugensio would tell the farmers to throw to him the Melons as he loads them onto the pickup with a partner called Mukalazi.

You know how these guys do it, don’t you? The item in this case a watermelon is thrown at you, grab it with both hands goal keeper style and then without looking behind, you throw it backwards over your head to the final guy seated on the pickup who does the arrangement.

This is exactly what Fulugensio and his aid Mukalazi would do. Mukalazi would be the one doing the arrangement as Fulugensio would do the catching of whatever was thrown at him from all directions by the farmers. They were so good at what they did in that they would fill up the pick up in 3 minutes and 6 seconds!! I know, its hard to believe but seeing is believing and i saw.

Now, one shinny Friday evening football scouts were moving around Kyakamunya village trying to scout for new and untapped talent for local soccer team Byamagero Fc

It so happened that Fulugensio and Mukalazi were at work. The scouts made an uncharacteristic stop and took a good 2 minutes look at what was going on. (What are the odds of football scouts making a stop at market like place??) One of them told his other two friends that ‘We have a goal Keeper here’!!
They agreed with him, so they went and talked to Fulugensio.

He initially did not believe them and wanted to continue doing his business telling them that he had never been a goal keeper in his life but when they offered him 3 times what he was making from his watermelon business, he decided to give it a try.

Fulugensio did not need any goal keeper training, he had actually unknowingly been training as a goal keeper for about 8 years.(In summary, he was an experienced watermelon dealer cum goal keeper) The following week Byamagero Fc had a friendly game against Nsimbi Ziwoome United and new signing Fulugensio had a chance to showcase his goal keeping skills.

Showcase his skills he did. The guy displayed tremendous goal keeping to the joy of all the Byamagero Fc fans and the neutrals at large. He made save after save and he even ‘saved’ balls that would have resulted into goal kicks.

Byamagero Fc took the lead in the 23rd minute and held onto the lead for almost 90 minutes, all thanks to the unbeatable Fulugensio. (Mark the word ALMOST)

In the 88th minute, with just two minutes to the end of the game, something unexplainable unless like me, you knew Fulugensio’s past happened. A very hard shot moving at about 26m/sec was directed towards goal and it looked like by all means Fulugensio would be beaten for the first time but guess what, he saved the hard hot shot without even moving an inch.

As everyone around the pitch was clapping and the Byamagero Fc fan all ululating in appreciation of Fulugensio’s world class Neuer like save, he ‘expertly’ threw the ball over his head and into his own net just like he had done with the water melons for 8 years!

Full time score Byamagero Fc 1-1 Nsimbi ziwoome United.
That was the end of Fulugensio’s very short but interesting football career. He went back to his old business after fans accused him of taking a bribe from Nsibimbi Ziwoome United. (The name of this club did not help his plea for being innocent – NSIMBI ZIWOOME UNITED!!)

Practice makes perfect but old harbits die hard, infact they don’t die at all!!

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