Vipers’ near invincibles of 2014/15; WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

Danito NSUBUGA 

Vipers SC won their 2nd league title in the 2014 /15 season having lost only one game, a 2-1 loss to KJT Rwenshama courtesy of a late Fred Agandu header at Nakivubo war memorial stadium.

They clinched the championship with a record 69 points, beating SC Villa’s 65 in 2nd place.

The squad was mainly built on a core of former St. Mary’s Kitende students some of whom had won the schools competition the same year. Farouk Miya, Dan Birikwalira and Keziron Kizito were among the crop.

Vipers XI that beat BUL in the final match of the season; Standing Deus Bukenya, James Alitho, Patrick Ssembuya, Joseph Mpande, Vincent Kayizzi and Musa Malunda Front; Kezron Kizito, Farouk Miya, Yusuf Mukisa, Dan Birikwalira and Nicholas Wadada

A lot was expected from this generation of talented players but 5 years down the road, where are they?

Ismail Watenga

Cranes 3rd choice goalkeeper left Vipers in 2018 for Ethiopia Bunna before playing for Sofapaka in Kenya. He is currently a free agent after leaving Kenya at the end of last year.

James Alitho

The champions were coronated at Buikwe

Just like Watenga, Alitho left Vipers in 2018 and joined URA. He has been in Zambia since the year started and expected to join Zanaco.

He started the final match against BUL at Buikwe. The champions won the game with a single goal scored by Farouk Miya.

Meddie Kibirige

He joined Vipers in the mid-season window from Bazar Holdings but couldn’t dislodge Watenga and Alitho.

He was later called into action in the closing stages of the season when both goalkeepers were out injured. He is now a free agent after featuring for Mutundwe Lions and Soana FC which later turned into Tooro United.

Defenders:

Nicholas Wadada Wakiro

Wadada led Vipers out in the title decider against SC Villa (Courtesy photo)

He left Vipers after lifting the 2017-18 league title. He joined Azam FC in the Tanzanian League where he has been since 2018.

Deus Bukenya

Bukenya was among the scorers in the title decider against SC Villa ( Courtesy photo)

He was usually deployed in the defensive midfield role. He is most remembered for scoring one of the two goals in the title decider against Villa at Nakivubo. He left Vipers in 2018. He is currently with Botswana Premier League side Prisons XI FC since.

Dan Birikwalira

Birikwalira was on loan at Bright Stars two seasons ago

He is currently at the club but has had two loan stints at Bright Stars (2018-19) and Kyetume FC last season.

Ismail Kazibwe

He left Vipers to re-join Express in Augudt 2015. He later played for the now defunct Lweza FC before being relegated at the end of the 2016-17 season. He hung up his boots last year after playing for Buganda Regional League side Kajjansi United.

Musa Malunda

His later years at Vipers were hampered by injuries. He left the club in 2018 and joined BUL FC. Malunda is a free agent after leaving Kenyan side Sofapaka at the end of last year.

Edward Ssali

Ssali serves as a member of Fred Kajoba’s backroom staff

One of the stalwarts of the squad. The former Express FC experienced defender joined Bunamwaya after failed trial stints in South Africa and Zambia.

He retired soon after that winning season and is currently a member of Fred Kajoba’s backroom staff

Yusuf Mukisa

Mukisa during his time at Vipers

He left Vipers in 2017 for Proline and later joined BUL FC. He left BUL for SC Villa and later returned to Proline FC. He is now a free agent after leaving Proline early this year.

Halid Lwaliwa

He is still at the club, he stands out as the longest serving player at the club. He was the captain when Vipers won last season’s title as the league was prematurely ended.

Midfielders:

David Owori “Colgate”

The pint sized midfielder joined the team from St Mary’s Kitende, he is among the members of the squad to have played the least number games.

He was loaned to Proline the following year from where he joined 16 time record champions SC Villa. He is currently a free agent who is expected to join URA FC.

Vincent Kayizzi

Kayizzi is captain Kyetume FC

Another senior member of the squad. Kayizzi, one of Uganda’s well documented journeymen had earlier on played for KCC FC, APR in Rwanda, FK Srem in Sebia and FK Novi Pazar in Poland.

He joined Vipers from URA FC and he helped them win that historic title. He joined Express FC in the 2015-16 season and later returned to KCCA under Mike Mutebi.

Kayizzi’s last shot at professional football was a stint at DC Bukavu Dawa in DR Congo. He is currently team captain for Kyetume FC.

Siraje Sentamu

Sentamu left for URA in 2017 but returned last term

He was recruited by Vipers at the start of the 2014-15 season from Entebbe FC. He is currently at the club after having a stint at URA FC between 2017-19. Another product of St. Mary’s Kitende.

Farouk Miya

Farouk Miya was voted league MVP

The MVP of the season after scoring a total of 11 league goals. He left Vipers for Standard Liege in 2016 in a deal worth 400,000 USD. He is now at Konyaspor Külubü in the Turkish Super Lig. He has also featured for HNK Gorica in Croatia, Azerbaijan’s FK Sebail and Mouscron Peruwelz in Belgium. Uganda Cranes’ poster boy.

Patrick Sembuya

Patrick Sembuya (Courtesy photo)

Currently a free agent after leaving BUL FC at the end of the 2018-19 season. He left Vipers in 2017 for the Jinja outfit.

Keziron Kizito

He formed a formidable partnership with Miya after joining Vipers at the start of that season from KJT. He left Vipers in 2017 and joined AFC Leopards in Kenya and later had a brief stint in India with Kerala Blasters. He is currently at KCCA FC since last year.

Abraham Ndugwa

Ndugwa at his unveiling after signing from Masavu

He was licensed to play for Vipers after a stint with Entebbe Young but never featured for the Venoms as he opted to pursue business in his engineering profession. He is currently at the club since 2018 following an impressive 2017-18 season with Masavu FC.

Ibrahim Sadam Juma

Sadam is currently a free agent after being released by KCCA

He officially left Vipers in 2016 and joined Express from where he transferred to KCCA towards the conclusion of the 2016-17 season. He is currently a free agent and expected to return to Express FC.

Joseph Mpande

Mpande left the club in the 2015-16 season

He unceremoniously left Vipers during the 2015-16 season and joined Mynmar based side Horizon FC (City Yagoon). He is currently in Vietnam with Hai Phong FC but also festured for Hantharwady FC in the Mynamar top-flight league.

Allan Kyambadde

Kyambadde was loaned back to Express FC after failing to live up to the billing

Was limited to playing before being sent out on loan to his former side Express in 2016. He joined SC Villa in 2017 and KCCA in 2018. He is now playing in the Egyptian Premier League with El Gounah FC.

Mike Mutyaba

Just like Sadam Juma and Allan Kyambadde, Mutyaba left Vipers for Express. He became the first team captain of Express in the 2015-16 season before retiring mid way the season. He returned to active football with KCCA before retiring again last month.

Strikers:

Julius Malingumu

He was signed to sharpen the striking department but Miya’s goals overshadowed him

Malingumu started the season on loan at newly promoted side KJT Rwenshama and because of his impressive start, he was re-called to join Vipers in a bid to bolster the club’s striking department that was clearly out of options. He didn’t live to the expectations and was sent back on loan to The Saints in the following season. He is currently with Onduparaka FC but has since then played for Paidha Black Angels, UPDF, BUL FC and had a brief stint in Somalia.

Moses Batali

Moses Batali (left)

After impressing in the Copa Cola championships of 2012 in Tororo for Risah S.S, the top scorer was signed by Vipers but he failed to replicate the same form in the title winning season.

He was loaned to JMC Hippos the following year. Kirinya JSS (now Busoga United) hoped they would revive his career but the move backfired. He is currently on the books of new UPL entrants MYDA FC

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