Dan Birikwalira has had to be patient with league champions Vipers, having fought back from a loan spell at Bright Stars and Kyetume, to ink a new two-year deal at Kitende. Birikwalira, 24, spent last season at Kyetume without making any appearances.
“Last season was a bit of a complicated time at Kyetume. I always wanted to play for my home team but it was not possible. Returning to Vipers is a positive move and I’m looking forward to getting going,” the left back, said in an interview on Tuesday.
Birikwalira, a school graduate who captained St Mary’s SS Kitende to two East Africa Schools Championships, two Copa Coca-Cola titles in four years, is ranked among the best players the nine-time national champions have ever produced after ably filling the void left by Godfrey Walusimbi. But he was sidelined by Argentine coach Javier Espinosa Martinez who instead hired Aggrey Madoi.
Birikwalira was welcomed at Bright Stars under Fred Kajoba, who is now the head coach at Vipers. A memorable season in his senior career where he made 21 assists capped his stay before another loan spell at Kyetume last season.
In a strange twist of events, Madoi refused to renew his contract and joined Wakiso Giants.
Everything fell in place when Kajoba joined Vipers recalling his trusted left back. Kajoba did not need an introduction to Birikwalira’s work ethic and character.
“I have worked with him before and he is one player who is dependable because he is very hardworking,” Kajoba said.
Vipers employed Farouk Musisi Kizito and school graduate Aziz Kayondo in that position last season and now Kajoba is hoping Birikwalira’s experience can count as the team attempts to make an impact in the Caf Champions League next season.
“He is a good player who can ably fit in any league team,” Kajoba adds.