KITENDE – As Vipers continue to strengthen their squad ahead of the upcoming StarTimes Uganda Premier League, they have promoted three youngsters to the senior team.
The youngsters in question are Karim Watambala, striker Richard Basangwa and defender Jacob Okao.
They were all part of the St Mary’s Secondary School team which captured the 2019 Copa Coca Cola cup in Jinja, defeating Jinja S.S 3-1 in the final.
All three of them were also impressive during the recently concluded Fufa Juniors League where the Venoms finished second in the treble group behind KCCA Soccer Academy.
They will be training with the senior team as head coach Nam Ouma monitors their progress.
The graduation of the trio brings the number of academy players who have joined the senior team in the past seven months to five.
The other two are Aziz Kayondo and Bobosi Byaruhanga who were enlisted during the January mid-season registration of players.
Vipers academy production has been impressive in the past, seeing the emergence of players like Farouk Miya, Keziron Kizito, Dan Birikwalira, Bashir Asiku and Geoffrey Wassa among others.
The Venoms have also signed three players already in the offseason with Paul Willa, Siraj Ssentamu and Allan Kayiwa signing long-term deals.
Vipers are bidding to bounce back from a disappointing 2018/19 season.
The Venoms came into last season as the defending league champions and finalist in the Uganda Cup but could not replicate such form.
Representing Uganda in the CAF Champions league, the Venoms were eliminated at the second round of qualification and hence dropped to the Confederation Cup. While there, they also failed to make it to the Group stages as they fell immediately.
In the League, they came second to KCCA FC while a humiliating exit to then-Big League side, Proline FC, ended their Uganda Cup campaign at the quarter-final stage.