Isabirye's in-tray at Vipers

Isabirye (R) directs strimer Yunus Sentamu (L) during his first training session. PHOTO/COURTSEY 

What you need to know:

A bloated squad and players with big egos and a number of foreign recruits sanctioned by his bosses rather than the previous technical team is what awaits him.

There was always bound to be a reaction following the mid season crisis at reigning Startimes Uganda Premier League champions Vipers.

A run of eight games without a win that included picking up just one point from four Caf champions league games precipitated the sacking of head coach Beto Bianchi last week after just 58 days in charge.

The Brazilian born Spaniard left Kitende probably  without knowing his neighbours and having not celebrated a goal in seven games and as expected over the last three days, was officially replaced by Alex Isabirye yesterday.

He becomes the club's third coach this season after Roberto 'Robertinho' Oliveira jumped ship and following Bianchi's sacking.

The tactician made an emotional exit from Bul on Saturday after guiding the eastern giants to a 1-0 win and past SC Villa in their replayed round-of-32 Stanbic Uganda Cup game in Njeru on Saturday.

Isabirye leaves the club as the  reigning Uganda Cup champions, the club's first major trophy and having helped them finish fourth  last season, their highest ever position in the league.

That cup win was incidentally against Vipers in the final in what was a measure of revenge against the Venoms who had defeated his side at the same stage the previous season.

Isabirye also previously masterminded Uganda Cup finals success against Vipers in 2012 with URA and in 2013 with the now defunct SC Victoria University.

He has in the process reestablished himself among the best domestic coaches causing a change of heart for Vipers supremo Lawrence Mulindwa who clearly indicated at the unveiling of his previous two coaches Robertinho and Bianchi about the preference for managers outside the African continent.

But Isabirye comes with a wealth of domestic experience having also won the league title with URA in 2011.

His Bul team had come to be associated with an agrresive and physical brand of football as evidenced in last season's 1-0 Uganda Cup win over Vipers.

Whether that is the required approach remains to be seen although he links up again with Karim Ndugwa a striker who was suited most to that approach but has struggled so far since his mid season move to Vipers.

Questions will consequently be asked about his move having traded the comfort of the less ambitions and not so demanding Bul and opting for a high pressure job at Kitende whose sole ambition is about winning trophies.

Vipers soul searching

This will arguably be his biggest task despite managing star-studded URA sides in the past.

He joins a Vipers team in disarray both on and off the pitch with the immediate task being a Uganda Cup round-of-16 game against Wakiso Giants tomorrow.

He will inherit a number of issues Bianchi, who through an interpreter raised with his bosses.

A bloated squad and players with big egos and a number of foreign recruits sanctioned by his bosses rather than the previous technical team is what awaits him.

In one of several meetings with the players president Lawrence Mulindwa reportedly laid down the marker about players' conduct.

Having been dropped from the travelling squad for the 1-0 away loss to Tanzania' side Simba, left back Disan Galilwango was suspended by the club for insubodination while goalkeeper Fabian Mutombora, Bashir Asiku, Frank Tumwesigye, and Abdu Lumala are also reportedly on a last chance saloon.

There are also other reported behind the scenes administrative changes with Steven Mulindwa, who is the club's General Manager, expected to have a withdrawn role as his father Lawrence adds an iron fist to proceedings in Kitende.

The immediate task for Isabirye is to galvanize the squad as they seek to retain their league title with Caf Champions League progress seemingly out of reach.

Vipers currently sit fourth on the league table, seven points behind leaders KCCA albeit with a game I hand.   

Vipers' last 10 Coaches and appointment dates

•Aug2015-George Nsimbe
•July2016-Abdallah Mubiru
•Mar2017-Da Costa  
•Aug2018-Javier Martinez 
•Dec2018-Nam Ouma 
•July2019-Edward Golola
•Jan2020-Fred Kajoba
•Aug2021-Roberto Oliveira 
•Jan2023-Beto Bianchi 
•Mar2023-Alex Isabirye