Young striker Umar Kyebatala has spoken about how he has adapted to life since being promoted to the senior team and says that he is ready to fight for his place at Vipers SC next season.
Kyebatala was among the youngsters promoted to Vipers senior team last season, alongside the likes from Ahmed Amayo and Jacob Okao.
The promotion was inevitable as Kyebatala had proved his worth, helping St Mary’s SS Kitende to win the Copa Coca-cola in Jinja and Feassa games in Arusha.
He got his senior team debut in the league, as Vipers won 1-0 against Kyetume FC.
“I felt incredible that we won and I was humbled that I helped my team triumph,” Kyebatala says, as quoted by the club website.
“Coming from the school side straight to the senior team was exciting and challenging at the same time due to a different environment from the one at school but I took little time to adapt and settle because of the old friends I found at Vipers.
“Life has been easy. And in regard to football, my first half of the season has been a huge lesson. My mentality, goals and expectations have been shaped and I look forward to next season with optimism.”
He credits captain Halid Lwaliwa as his toughest teammate, saying that he is very difficult to go against and he is excellent both at reading the game and opponents.
The youngster has not featured regularly due to the stiff competition upfront with Fahad Bayo, Tito Okello and Dan Sserunkuma preferred options. With Shaban Mohammed expected to have recovered next season, it promises to be tougher.
Kyebatala, however, is confident and ready to fight.
“There is only one opportunity to prove your worth and it can only work in your favour when you are prepared. I will not give up my fight until I get a starting berth in the side.”
He says that his target next season is to open goals account and win silverware for the club.
He adds: “I always thrive to be better than how I was yesterday and that attribute pushes me each time I step on the pitch.”