He is terrorising defences domestically and at six goals and four assists in seven league matches, few - if any - can dismiss Fahad Bayo when the Vipers goal-loader speaks.
Bayo is currently preparing for tomorrow’s 2020 Chan qualifying return leg against Burundi at Lugogo with the rest of his Cranes teammates. The 21-year-old played 90 minutes in the 3-0 away victory in the first leg but was not on the scoreline. He carries that unfinished business into tomorrow.
“We won but as a person and striker, I felt challenged because I did not score,” he told Daily Monitor after one of the training sessions at Lugogo, “So I told myself that if I get a second chance, I want another feeling. “So if given chance to start against Burundi, or even if I come on for only 10 minutes, I have to score. That is the target.”
It is Bayo’s explosive start to the season since he cut short his time at Zambian club, Buildcon, for Vipers that has attracted coach Abdallah Mubiru. Mubiru is also the man who brought him to Kibuli SS and together they won the 2014 Copa Coca Cola Schools Championship with Bayo top-scoring with 11 goals.
Bayo is somewhat surprised by the returns so far but does not doubt the foundation. “It’s not easy to do what I’ve done so far in just seven games but if you believe and work harder, anything is possible.”
The former Proline striker has a season target of 15 goals for Vipers. “The first round target was eight goals but if I have already scored six in seven matches, it means I’m not doing bad.”
Bayo’s biggest attributes are his imposing stature, aggressive nature that hurries defenders into mistakes, general link-up play, and execution with both feet and head.
But all this has taken some patience to be noticed. When he left for Buildcon from Proline, a team he joined while still at Kibuli, he thought coaches back home did not fully appreciate him.
He thought the same once at Buildcon. “One of the reasons I left Zambia is I really used to put in a lot but sometimes they don’t notice.
“It’s true at the time I left Uganda, my coaches had started appreciating my game but not fully.
“So when I got an opportunity to leave, I left. But when I reached in Zambia I got some challenges.
“After one season and a half I decided to come back home and maybe I could give a little more and coaches would understand me more.”
Bayo and his agent were lining up something in Kuwait, but the league there was already in progress and they had to wait for at least three months. During that time, Bayo called Vipers chairman Lawrence Mulindwa and the rest is history.