October 22, 2021

Vipers SC’s Manzoki reveals how he is adapting to Uganda Premier League challenges

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Despite an injury as the season began, the forward has been awarded regular minutes and has scored seven goals

Vipers Sports Club striker Ceasar Manzoki has explained how he has adapted to the challenges in the Ugandan Premier League.

Manzoki was signed before the current season began and despite the challenges he faced, ranging from language to food, he has been able to cope well as he has maintained a regular place in the Vipers starting XI.

The forward from the Democratic Republic of Congo made his debut during a Caf Champions League encounter at St Mary’s Stadium, when Vipers were defeated 1-0 by Al Hilal of Sudan. 

He was also part of the team that took part in the second leg as Vipers were unable to get the result that would have enabled them to progress in the Champions League.

“When I came to Uganda at Vipers Sports Club, I knew of the challenges ahead of me that I would tackle as a well prepared professional footballer,” Manzoki told Kawowo Sports

“I was prepared mentally and physically for the job. Initially, I had challenges with the food and language but I adjusted accordingly in a record time.

“Football itself being a universal language spoken by all, the language issue has not been a big problem. I am learning English and of course some Luganda.

“For the food, I have also adjusted accordingly although sometimes I also cook for myself. I stay near the stadium for convenience to avoid traffic jam since I have to be on time for training sessions and matches.

“I do not party nor drink alcohol. Football is my job and I have to respect it.”

Manzoki has found the back of the net on seven occasions and the goals came against the Malaba Youth Development Association, Bright Stars, Police FC, Onduparaka FC, URA FC and UPDF FC.

Against the Soldiers, the former Tout Puissant Mazembe star was named the man of the match at the Bombo Military Grounds after he struck twice.

“The Uganda Premier League is very good,” added the Venom. “It has great talented players who are physical in nature. It was a new challenge to me of course since I was coming in from elsewhere. 

“My objective has been to work hard in training, rest early, eat well and drink a lot of water. Of course, I do not drink anything alcoholic. I have tried to be focused and injected in hours in personal training.”

There were fears Manzoki would be ruled for a long period after he suffered an injury in the early stage of the league season but he ended up recovering faster than expected.

“It was not an easy start for me. I suffered some injuries that I managed to shake off. I tried my level best to adapt to being a professional,” he explained. 

At Vipers, he has to fight for a starting position against experienced Dan Sserunkuma, as well as Yunus Ssentamu, Lawrence Tezikya, and Richard Basangwa.

Paul Mucureezi, Allan Kayiwa, Abraham Ndugwa, and Milton Karisa are the other offensive players that can be used in Manzoki’s position.

The forward is an experienced player having played for Dauphins Noirs from 2012 to 2016 before he moved to TP Mazembe, where he played from 2016 to 2017 and scored 12 goals in 21 games.

At AS Vita Club, where he played from 2017 to 2020, he featured in 58 games before he crossed over to Uganda.