Javier Martinez Espinosa appointed by Vipers SC
Ugandan champions Vipers Sports Club have appointed Mexican coach Javier Martinez Espinosa to replace Miguel Da Costa.
The Portuguese coach was unexpectedly sacked on July 17, only a month after he guided Vipers to the Ugandan Premier League title, with the club explaining that he was a casualty of 'restructuring'.
Espinosa was unveiled at the club's St. Mary's Stadium on Monday, having signed a two-year deal.
"It's a pleasure to be in Uganda and I am ready to work to win trophies," the coach told journalists at his unveiling. "We have a challenge to defend the league title, win the Uganda Cup and perform well in the CAF Champions League.
"My approach is to play smart on transition and always try to win the ball quickly. I know Ugandan players are physical and can play the brand of football that I want. I have watched videos of SC Vipers team before," added the new coach.
"Africa has good football players who are strong, and I have been following Ugandan football closely," continued Espinosa, who previously coached Juventus FC of Nicaragua. "I will need three weeks to understand my players well enough."
Club director Dr. Lawrence Mulindwa made it clear that the changes are the club are geared towards helping Vipers achieve their objectives for the coming campaigns and to guard against complacency following their title success.
"The changes at the club are not because we want to fire people but because we feel we have not achieved anything," added Mulindwa during the press conference.
"It is an African problem to win something and think they have achieved a lot," he explained. "Our dreams are very big because we feel we have achieved nothing.
"I want Vipers SC to be as big or even better that DR Congo's TP Mazembe.
"Investment requires sacrifice," he added. "Changing a coach is very expensive but our dreams are huge and [they go] beyond Uganda."
Mulindwa revealed that Espinosa's arrival represented a reboot for the club and that no players currently on Vipers' books were guaranteed their spot.
"Even if we signed a player recently and the new coach tells us he cannot work with that player, we shall let that player leave," the director concluded. 'Our work is to make sure we provide all that the technical bench wants in time."
As well as winning the league, Da Costa reached the final of the Uganda Cup and the quarter finals of the regional CECAFA Kagame Club Championships.