Former Uganda midfielder Saddam Juma has explained how his moves to English sides Fulham and Nottingham Forest fell through.
Considered one of the best creative midfielders in Uganda, Juma said he first went to Fulham on trial in 2010, while the club was competing in the Premier League, before he tried his luck with Nottingham Forest, who were then in the Championship.
"Fulham connected with my club Bunnamwaya [now Vipers] then. I was 17 years old at the time, and that’s why I did not sign my contract at Nottingham," Juma told NBS Sports, as quoted by Sports Nation.
"I went to Fulham and did not pass the trials because I was lacking the basics of the game.
"I was recommended by Fulham chief scout to Nottingham Forest. Actually, I was meant to go to Hearts of Scotland because of [David] Obua.
"They heard about me having trials there [at Fulham] and they asked 'Obua who is this Ugandan player at Fulham in trials? Can we bring him over?' I was divided between going to Nottingham or Fulham."
The former Express player explained what really prevented his big move from seeing the light of the day.
"I was about to be put into the system but something happened in between! There was some miscommunication between Bunamwaya and Nottingham Forest," he continued.
"I was not 18 then, so I had to get out of contract - with Bunamwaya - and go as a free agent to sign for their reserve, play some games and then get a visa on sports merit.
"But these guys [Bunnamwaya] couldn’t accept that. They basically failed me. We used to make calls to the big man [Lawrence Mulindwa – Bunamwaya chair] but in vain.
"Nottingham Forest chief scout was actually going to fly in and finalise the deal because they wanted to get into a memorandum of understanding. When I get my pro-contract, they would, of course, compensate them."
The former Kampala Capital City Authority star discussed how he had to deal with the disappointment when the move collapsed.
"When I came back from the UK to Bunnamwaya, I was totally frustrated. I didn’t want to play anymore for them. I spent over three months without going for games or training," he concluded.
"I had to first compose myself, then return, though I wasn’t feeling myself and had to see my way out, and I ended up in Vietnam."