Roberto Oliveira alias Robertinho shockingly ended his hugely successful spell at Vipers SC in a Thursday development, only 14 months into his three-year contract.
The Brazilian left after guiding the Venoms to the group stages of the CAF Champions League, a feat that had never been achieved in the Club’s history.
With the group stages journey set to kickstart in February, with a Uganda Premier League to defend and the Uganda Cup to chase, a complex task awaits the hierarchy at Kitende for Robertinho’s replacement.
In the past, St Mary’s Boarding Secondary School (SMASK) football coach, Edward Golola has been the fixer every time there has been a departure in the role.
Golola has the experience and commands the respect from the dressing room, but has certainly almost always failed to nail down the seat for himself permanently.
With the many tasks ahead and their nature, coupled with the history, it’s safe to assert Golola is the odds-on favourite to land the hot seat, on an interim basis, yet again.
Another name that will always be thrown in the mix every time there’s a vacancy at Kitende, is Mike Mutebi, especially because he has been out of work for over a year now, since his departure from KCCA FC early in 2021.
Mutebi, was at one time reported to have been close to joining Vipers over a year ago. He was favourite to be Fred Kajoba’s successor before the club settled for Robertinho.
Mutebi is by so many standards a great tactician, but he would be more of a long-term project. The current state of the club is hugely important and the hierarchy would want a figure that fixes this season first, before looking ahead.
His ego and principles have also on various occasions been outlined as to why he may never take the seat, despite being one of the best at his job in the country.
On the other hand, Sam Ssimbwa is one coach that would perfectly fit the current state at Kitende, given his style and history.
He is a fix-it type of coach, and this current project needs his type, at least for the season. He’s not a Mutebi kind, who would prefer long-term goals.
One wonders whether director Lawrence Mulindwa will yet again break the bank and move in for a foreign tactician.
However, one thing is clear, a coach is needed at Kitende if the side is to replicate the recent success but also, triumph on the continent.