Paul Mucurezi displays Vipers SC jersey during his unveiling at St.Mary's Kitende

Vipers Sports Club on Thursday confirmed the arrival of midfielder Paul Mucurezi on a three-year deal as the first signing in the January mid-season transfer window. With the league title, top of the agenda for the Kitende based side, there have been efforts to make sure the season ends on a bright note.

Whereas this could be regarded as a second coming for Mucurezi to Kitende because he studied at St.Mary’s Kitende, he had not gotten the chance to feature for the Venoms.

Joel Muyita takes a look at how important Mucurezi could be in Vipers’ pursuit of silverware this season.

Provides directness

Mucurezi is a player that would not fear to ram into any backline. He is a winger who compensates for his inability with pace and directness. He is way better than the rest of the players at Vipers SC that have been deployed as wingers this season. These include Allan Kayiwa, Tito Okello, Brian Kalumba and Innocent Wafula.

Paul Mucurezi in action for Mbarara City FC last season Credit: © Kawowo Sports | AISHA NAKATO

Whereas having a lethal forward is important for any team that wants to win any title, the supporting cast must be equally good to help on the job. A league is a marathon and slumps in form are expected, so you would need to rely on more than one player.

Dan Sserunkuma’s goals were vital in guiding Vipers SC to their last league title (2017/18) but you would not take away credit from Milton Karisa who was the club top scorer in the first round with seven goals before Sserunkuma joined in January 2018 from Express FC. Ssekisambu who blew hot and cold in the first stanza of the season upped his game and played a crucial role in the title chance.

In 2014/15 when Vipers SC won their second league title, they thrived on pace with Mike Mutyaba, Joseph Mpande, Vincent Kayizzi and Allan Kyambadde doing the job on the flanks to compliment Farouk Miya who was the best performer on the team.

You can as well look back at the 2009/10 season when Mike Mutyaba was at his peak. He was literally skinning defenders. William Luwagga too was very influential in the title run, given his ability to dribble past defenders.

Therefore, the arrival of Mucureezi will be quite important given Vipers SC style of play this season where Fahad Bayo has thrived on the long balls. Given his power and pace, he will definitely get much support from Mucurezi.

Eye for goal

Mucureezi’s abilities are not only limited to running at defenders and offering the crosses as a winger but he goes a notch higher to score goals. He was one of the best performers last season under Livingstone Mbabazi, scoring eight goals for Mbarara City FC. This season, he had three goals in the first round.

Paul Mucureezi in action against SC Villa at Mandela National stadium

Even when you look back at his stint with KCCA FC, he found the back on a number of occasions and some of his goals were very crucial. For instance, his screamer against Express FC at Wankulukuku that helped the Lugogo based side clinch the 2016/17 league title.

If you look at Vipers SC this season, of the 23 goals they scored in the first round (including three awarded from Maroons’ game), Bayo had 9 while Sserunkuma managed 3 same as Mucureezi at Mbarara. The rest of the goals were shared by 9 different scorers including Brian Kalumba, Paul Willa, Halid Lwaliwa, Karim Watambala, Allan Kayiwa, Brian Nkuubi, Abraham Ndugwa, Bobos Byaruhanga, and Frank Tumwesigye.

Given the quality of the players at Vipers SC, Mucureezi will definitely thrive and score some goals for the Venoms.

Champion mentality

He is a player that knows what it takes to win a league title, having won two league titles with KCCA FC including a domestic double in the 2016/17 campaign.

Paul Mucureezi celebrates his goal against CNaP Sport in the CAF Champions League Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE
KCCA players and coaches celebrate after winning the 2016/17 league. Paul Mucurezi (4th from right) was part of the team. Credit: © Kawowo Sports / AISHA NAKATO

His experience, therefore, will be very vital in the title run given the fact that Vipers SC squad this season has young players such as Karim Watambala, Bobos Byaruhanga, and Aziz Kayondo.

Besides, Bayo who has shouldered the burden of scoring goals this season has never won a league title and you would want to have players with this aspect like Mucurezi.

Joel Muyita

Joel Muyita is a senior staff writer at Kawowo Sports.

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