Lawrence Mulindwa, Tom Masiko and Duarte da Costa Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE
  • Uganda Premier League 2017/18
  • Tuesday, 12th September 2017
  • Bright Stars vs. Vipers – Champions Stadium, Mwererwe
[/media-credit] Vipers director Lawrence Mulindwa, midfielder Tom Masiko and coach Duarte Da Costa. Masiko was snatched from rivals KCCA. Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

A few Uganda Premier League clubs have sent out bold statements of intent in the off season epoch since the league broke off in May 2017.

From building strong fan bases, enriching the technical and playing staff to poaching for new and potential sponsors, most clubs have indeed tried the hard way.

A close scrutiny of the local and foreign players’ market, Vipers patiently and expertly did the search. They perfected the purchase of their respective catches to suit the missing links from the previous season.

On Saturday evening at the club home, St Mary’s Stadium in Kitende, they rewarded last season’s best performers, ushered in the new legion and also treated fans to a festivity worthy to welcome a new season.

It is a blend of the young and experienced from the rich St Mary’s school team, Masaza Cup, local league to foreign market.

Newly crowned East African secondary schools’ winning captain Ashraf ‘Fadiga’ Bamuturaki, a quick thinking midfielder joins the cast of youngsters at the club including Frank ‘Zagga’ Tumwesigye and Hassan ‘Gaata’ Kalega.

[/media-credit] Lawrence Mulindwa, Tadeo Lwanga and Duarte da Costa. Lwanga was signed from rivals Sports Club Villa Jogoo Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

Steven Mukwala (Edgars Youth and Ssingo Ssaza), Baden Mujahid, former KCCA captain Tom Masiko, former SC Villa skipper Tadeo Lwanga, Yayo Lutimba (previously at Express) and Congolese goal machine Mousa Clovis Mbayi were officially given a warm and deserving embrace during the colorful event.

Club legend and former Uganda Cranes player Edward Ssali alongside the goalkeeping coach Eddy Kaweesi were also added to the already rich technical bench that has Portugese tactician Miguel Da Costa as well as the tried and tested Edward Golola.

The communications department was also bolstered with journalist Abdul Wasike.

The spice of the evening was when a couple of players who have served the club through every thick and thin were rewarded with plaques and ‘envelopes’ with cash as a motivational tool.

Diligent skipper Nico Wakiro Wadada no doubt scooped the Most Valuable Player of the season gong that came along with a Shs2M reward.

Lanky goalkeeper, Ismail Watenga took home the  most motivational player’s award.

Defender Halid Lwaliwa, on the road to full recovery after a career threatening injury was named the fan’s favourite player.

Exciting youngster Frank ‘Zaga’ Tumwesigye was named the most promising player whilst winger cum forward Milton Karisa also rewarded for scoring the first goal at St. Mary’s Kitende (against South Africa’s Platinum stars in the CAF Confederation Cup).

After a successful pre-season, Miguel is sure the team is solid enough for the challenge ahead;

We have a solid team that we believe will favourably compete for honors this season. It is good to have so many players who can play well.

[/media-credit] Vipers Sports Club director Lawrence Mulindwa addressing the media at St Mary’s Stadium Kitende on Saturday Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

Club director, Lawrence Mulindwa expects nothing but trophies at the apex of the season – league and Uganda Cup.

We need to compete with strong teams in the league more reason we made these new signings.

Our fans should expect the best out of Vipers this season. We have assembled a good squad, the technical team is also bolstered and everything is available to enable us ably compete.

The target this season is to win trophies and play on the continent thereafter.

The club also launched the official kits and the seasonal tickets.

Last season, Vipers finished third behind champions KCCA and SC Villa who finished second.

Vipers target their third league title following successes in 2009/10 (as Bunamwaya) and 2014/15.

[/media-credit] Vipers Sports Club captain Nico Wakiro Wadada was voted MVP for diligence and unquestionable display on the field of play Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

The bold and possible quest for the third league title kicks off on Tuesday with a trip across the town to the silent footballing suburb of Mwererwe.

The Venoms, as they are christened will face boggy side Bright  Stars at the Champions Stadium in a repeat of last season’s opening match which ended 2-2 at Nakivubo.

All Uganda Premier League Champions

  • 1968–69: Prisons FC (Kampala)
  • 1969: Prisons FC (Kampala)
  • 1970: Coffee United SC (Kakira)
  • 1971: Simba FC (Lugazi)
  • 1974: Express FC (Kampala)
  • 1975: Express FC (Kampala)
  • 1976: KCC FC (Kampala)
  • 1977: KCC FC (Kampala)
  • 1978: Simba FC (Lugazi)
  • 1979: Uganda Commercial Bank FC (Kampala)
  • 1980: Nile Breweries (Jinja)
  • 1981: KCC FC (Kampala)
  • 1982: SC Villa (Kampala)
  • 1983: KCC FC (Kampala)
  • 1984: SC Villa (Kampala)
  • 1985: KCC FC (Kampala)
  • 1986: SC Villa (Kampala)
  • 1987: SC Villa (Kampala)
  • 1988: SC Villa (Kampala)
  • 1989: SC Villa (Kampala)
  • 1990: SC Villa (Kampala)
  • 1991: KCC FC (Kampala)
  • 1992: SC Villa (Kampala)
  • 1993: Express (Kampala)
  • 1994: SC Villa (Kampala)
  • 1995: Express (Kampala)
  • 1996: Express (Kampala)
  • 1997: KCC FC (Kampala)
  • 1998: SC Villa (Kampala)
  • 1999: SC Villa (Kampala)
  • 2000: SC Villa (Kampala)
  • 2001: SC Villa (Kampala)
  • 2002: SC Villa (Kampala)
  • 2002–03: SC Villa (Kampala)
  • 2004: SC Villa (Kampala)
  • 2005: Police FC (Jinja)
  • 2006: Uganda Revenue Authority SC (Kampala)
  • 2006–07: Uganda Revenue Authority SC (Kampala)
  • 2007–08: KCC FC (Kampala)
  • 2008–09: Uganda Revenue Authority SC (Kampala)
  • 2009–10: Bunamwaya SC (Wakiso)
  • 2010–11: Uganda Revenue Authority SC (Kampala)
  • 2011–12: Express FC (Kampala)
  • 2012–13: KCC FC (Kampala)
  • 2013–14: KCC FC (Kampala)
  • 2014–15: Vipers SC (Wakiso)
  • 2015–16: KCCA FC (Kampala)
  • 2016–17: KCCA FC (Kampala)

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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