Despite their recent failures in the CAF Champions League, Uganda Premier League reigning champions Vipers Sports Club face a crucial decision.
Vipers were knocked out of the 2023/2024 CAF Champions League by Botswana's Jwaneng Galaxy 3-2 on aggregate, much as they won the home tie 2-1.
Hopes were high for Vipers as they aimed to secure consecutive appearances in the competition’s Group stages. They hopped to build on their success from the previous season.
However, this dream was shattered, leaving many to ponder whether this downturn could have been avoided.
21:41 - 26.08.2023
But Kitende was silenced when Gilberto Baruti converted a well-taken freekick in the 89th minute to give Vipers a task too big to accomplish in the eight added minutes.
The supporters who made the journey to Kitende were not disheartened. They marvelled at the impressive display of football by the six-time league champions.
The standout performance of Yunus Ssentamu, who grabbed a first half brace on the night, served as a reminder of his capabilities.
Instilling optimism that he would continue to shine in the upcoming 2023/2024 StarTimes Uganda Premier League matches.
Yet, an undeniable concern loomed over the team like an unspoken truth – the position of Leonard Martins Neiva, the head coach of Vipers.
This topic should not be up for discussion, but the history of how Vipers had dealt with disappointments hinted at a need for careful consideration.
Though it was still early days, it wasn't lost on anyone that Vipers Sports Club tended to part ways with coaches when the going got tough. Despite being in the spotlight, Leonard Martins Neiva might still have a chance.
Based on his recent performance, there was a hope that the management of Vipers would look beyond the immediate setback and provide the Brazilian coach with an opportunity to prove himself once the new season commenced.
The need for stability was evident with the team holding the titles of both the league and the Uganda Cup champions.
The path to replicating the successes of the previous term should be the clear objective.
Holding onto Leonard Martins Neiva, offering him unwavering support, and nurturing his potential to guide the team to victory should be the priority now.
As the echoes of the recent defeat in the CAF Champions League are reverberateing through their decisions, the upcoming season should be a blank canvas, ready to be painted with triumphs and challenges.
The story of their perseverance and determination should be far from over. As the dawn of a new season approaches, the question lingers: Will Vipers give Neiva more time despite the stumbling block they have encountered?