Vipers SC head coach Roberto Oliveira has revealed how he expects to handle the five-time Uganda Premier League champions’ busy schedule this season.
Upon qualifying for the group stages of the CAF Champions League, it was evident that Vipers were going to have a more busy 2022/23 season than ever before.
“For now, we are focused on finishing the first round of games in the UPL on a high and see how to go about the busy new year,” Oliveira told www.football256.com before adding.
“But, generally when we won the league last season we knew that we are going to play on the continent, especially in the Champions League adding another competition to the UPL and the Uganda Cup.”
“In the process, we lost great players in the likes of Cesar Manzoki, Bobosi Byaruhanga, and the Captain Halid Lwaliwa but we also signed equally good players that helped us to qualify for the group stages of the Champions League for the first time.”
“I know how tough it is going to be for us playing in all these competitions but our objective will not change we want to continue performing well on all fronts.”
“Better we have the depth in quality and we shall be rotating the team here and there depending on the kind of game we have,” he added.
The Champions League qualifiers already had a toll on Vipers as seen from the first Uganda Premier League games this season where there was a drop in their performance levels.
After settling and concentrating on the UPL which is the only competition they are participating in as of now, Oliveira’s charges are back on track and they are genuinely showing the character of being the defending champions.
They are positioned second on the 15-team UPL log with 23 points, only two points adrift of leaders KCCA FC who are on 25 points after both teams have played 11 games.
On Monday, the Venoms learnt who their group mates will be in the Champions League. They are pooled in Group C alongside Tanzanian giants Simba SC, African powerhouse Raja Casablanca from Morocco, and Guinea’s Horoya AC.
“We have been drawn against strong opponents but having qualified for the group stages we are also a strong team,” Oliveira said about the draws.
“We respect them and I know that they also respect us and we expect to put up a strong performance in trying to reach the knockout stages,” the Brazilian tactician noted.
En route to the Champions League group stages, Vipers eliminated five-time champions TP Mazembe in what was a statement of intent.
The Kitende-based outfit will test the feel of the Champions League group stages for the first time against Raja Casablanca in Rabat between February 10th and 11th 2023.