Plenty of business is going on at two time league champions Vipers SC in preparations for the 2015/16 season that will see the club compete favourably in the Azam Uganda Premier League, Uganda Cup, CAF Champions League and the CECAFA Club Championship, with an ultimate target of winning both the league and the cup, group stages for the continental tournament as well as reaching the last four of the regional tournament CECAFA. Club Patron Lawrence Mulindwa should be pleased with the club direction and the efforts in the transfer market as per now however, there is still one area where work need to be done.
The goalkeeping department is well covered as Alitho James is bound to give Watenga Ismail a run for his money in the race for the club’s undisputed number 1 choice. The arrival of Bakaki Shafiq a centre back with leadership and ball playing qualities is set to add competition to an already strong backline of Wadada Nico, Birikwalira Dan, Malunda Musa & Mukisa Yusuf not forgetting the able covers in veterans Ssali Edward & Kazibwe Ismail plus the youthful Lwaliwa Harid. Such a backline, is an envy to fellow competitors due to the quality and depth contained therein hence making it a strong area as well.
The addition of Nkuubi Brian & Seninde Duncan to an existing proven quality midfield, just confirms why that department remains Vipers strongest area and a stiff competition in scramble for first team slots is bound to be intriguing. A selection headache will always be synonymous with Golola & his technical team in determining who to start amongst Sembuya Patrick, Sentamu Siraje, Kizito Keziron, Kyambadde Allan, Mpande Joseph, Luswata Steven, Nkuubi Brian & Seninde Duncan.
The striking line therefore remains the most talked about area that needs reinforcing the coming season since its where Vipers were lifeless due to unavailability of a proven goal scorer. Vipers averaged 1.43 goals per match last season, most of the goals coming through the midfield. The attainment of Malingumu Julius in mid-season could not solve the problem either when he got injured immediately after signing. The matters were thus left in the hands of midfielders whose goal returns were not worth to be proud of and dependency on Miya Farouq for goals is a risky venture if injuries are to be taken into account.
The acquisition of Semazzi John & Sekisambu Erisa of course solves part of this striking dilemma but the two are perceived as not being natural goal scorers, they are more effective when fielded on the wings rather than as central strikers. It’s imperative that Vipers secure a versatile forward, typical number 9, so to speak who can guarantee 20 or more goals a season, Golola seems worryingly unaware of how important this position is to the team when he says his targets are now secured however on a positive note, the club’s spending spree in the transfer window is not about to end until such kind of player is added. “Just mention any striker you feel like the cash to splash is available” was the patron’s message to Golola.
Of course there are youngsters to look up to from the club youth academy but a proven goal scorer would be a superb purchase however chances of getting such kind of a quality striker on the local market are very slim, crossing boarders therefore is the option for the club to balance the striking area. Fingers crossed.