KAMPALA. Miguel Da Costa’s animations at the Vipers dug out will be no more.
A coach with an ‘obscure’ football background, he guided Vipers to the Azam Uganda Premier League (AUPL) title in his first full season but a hurting Uganda Cup final loss, disastrous Cecafa campaign and an air of mistrust around the club have combined to necessitate his exit.
The ‘eccentric’ Portuguese saw this coming and by the time the club administrators wielded the axe on Monday night, he had spared time to prophesize his exit.
Giving a hint
“This is the last press conference I have with you. Enjoy my friends,” he said immediately after wrapping up the league title – never having time to shine in his conquest.
Yet the club stuck with him in the just concluded Cecafa Clubs Tournament in Tanzania where Vipers were eliminated at the quarterfinal stage by Gor Mahia after struggling through the group.
Then came the statement from the club. “The Vipers management today as part of the restructuring process and preparation for the Caf Club competition and upcoming league season relieved Miguel Da Costa of his services,” read part of the club communication seen by Daily Monitor.
Therein lies the cardinal ‘sin’ the Portuguese committed – he was not entirely trusted and well received by all at the club upon his arrival back in March 2017.
From a divided dressing room, a couple of league suspensions, missing a hand in the club transfers to failing to propagate a tangible football philosophy at St Mary’s Kitende – Da Costa was always living on borrowed time.
Some section of critics even doubted his coaching qualifications never mind him asserting that he had roots from Porto.
“I want to thank club management, players, fans and technical team for their support in the time I have been here. I’m happy to have won the league title during this time,” he said early last month, leaving raised eyebrows as he made a hint of his departure. The man known for his animated goal celebrations he added; “Some people have misinterpreted my passion for football for other things. That’s me.”
A delighted Lawrence Mulindwa, the club patron, while unveiling Da Costa at Kitende, tasked him to unearth new talent, market club players abroad and take Vipers to continental levels – which the club feels proved a herculean task 17 months after.
Da Costa at a glance
Name: Miguel Jorge Da Costa Duarte
Marital status: Married with a daughter
Studied: Occupation Therapy at university
Clubs played for and coached at:
Espinol and Porto
Qualifications: Uefa ‘B’ license
Titles: Uganda Premier League 2017-2018
Appointed: March 7 2017
Sacked: July 17 2018