New Vipers Sports Club skipper Taddeo Lwanga will be seeking to guide the Uganda Premier League champions to a CECAFA Cup glory.
Lwanga assumed the new position following the departure of long-serving team captain Nicholas Wadada, who has since joined Tanzanian side Azam FC. Lwanga was Wadada’s deputy.
Now prior to the team’s departure on Wednesday afternoon, Lwanga said;
“We know the task ahead of us. We are a big team and it’s always good to start duty with victory although it may seem very difficult but we shall do to our best," as quoted on the club’s website.
The 30-man contingent inclusive of team officials left Entebbe airport aboard Kenya Airways at around midday and arrived in Dar es Salaam at about 4:00 pm.
The squad also included five of their latest acquisitions in the names of Janjali Joseph (striker), Ibrahim Kiyemba from SC Villa (defender), Ramat Ssenfuka from Police FC (midfielder) and Fred Okot from URA FC as well as goalkeeper Bashir Ssekagya.
Meanwhile, senior goalkeepers Isma Watenga, James Alitho, midfielder Moses Waiswa, wantaway striker Erisa Keith Ssekisambu and defend Dan Bilikwalira were not part of the traveling squad with reports suggesting that they could all leave the club this summer.
The Jorge Miguel da Costa-coached side is seeded in Group A for the tournament with Tanzania’s Azam FC, JKU of Zanzibar and Kator FC of South Sudan.
The venoms seek to be the fourth Ugandan club to win the tournament after SC Villa in 1987, 2003 & 2005, KCCA in 1978 and Police FC, who won it last in 2006. Police under the tutelage of coach Sam Timbe beat Tanzania’s Morogoro by 2-0 in the finals with Godfrey Walusimbi and Tonny Mawejje on the score sheet.
Goalkeepers: Bashir Ssekagya, Eric Kibowa.
Defenders: Bashir Asiku, Geoffrey Wasswa, Fred Okot, Aggrey Madoi, Ibrahim Kiyemba, Yayo Lutimba, Ashraf Mandela.
Midfielders: Taddeo Lwanga, Frank 'Zaga' Tumwesigye, Rahmat Ssenfuka, Brian Nkuubi, Duncan Sseninde, David Owori.
Forwards: Dan Sserunkuma, Pius Wangi, Brian Kalumba, Steven Mukwala, Milton Karisa.
Officials: Miguel Da Costa (Head Coach), Edward Golola (Assistant Coach), Edward Ssali (Fitness Coach), Mathias Kassaga (physio), Eddie Kaweesa (goalkeeping coach).
Media Team: Sandra Awori, Kenneth Muwanga & Abdu Wasike.
Group A: Azam FC (Tanzania), Vipers SC (Uganda), JKU (Zanzibar), Kator FC (South Sudan)
Group B: Rayon Sport (Rwanda), Gor Mahia (Kenya), Lydia Ludic (Burundi), Ports (Djibouti)
Group C: Singida (Tanzania), Simba (Tanzania), APR (Rwanda), Dakadaha (Somalia)