Vipers Sports Club have earned a name as one institution that breeds its own talents using their feeder side at St. Mary’s Secondary School – Kitende (SMASK) and a couple of them will make their debuts for the Venoms in the forthcoming season.
Najib ‘Fimbo’ Iga is poised to make the grade as a senior Venom and in the upcoming 2020/21 season. The youthful forward is looking to hit the ground running. Iga, a wonderful player that can easily glide upfront with good control and dribbles, is also a potential goal-scorer. Our media team cornered him for a chat with www.viperssc.co.ug. Enjoy the excerpts!!!
Is there anybody in your family that played football that inspired you?
Yes, my father. Although he did not play at a very competitive level before a knee injury ruined his career. He played as a right winger for Kisekende Football Club in Mubende District a couple of decades back. I remember he used to take me with him to the pitch whenever there was a match. He encouraged me and offered a lot of support as I grew older. He actually inspired me to pursue a career in football.
Who do you look up in Uganda and internationally?
While I was growing up my dad and his friends always talked about Andrew ‘Fimbo’ Mukasa and heaped so much praise on his style of play and eye for goal. Despite the fact that I did not watched him play, I know a lot about him and I have always wanted to emulate him. In fact, it’s the reason my dad and peers nick named me ‘Fimbo’. Uganda Cranes winger Farouk Miya is the other player whose character and humility inspire me as well.
Who do you play like?
I think I play more like Frenchman Antoine Griezmann of Barcelona FC. I position myself well, I have good pace and I am very lethal in-front of goal.
Most people got to know you from St Mary’s Secondary, Kitende (SMASK) and Vipers Junior Team. How did the school shape your game?
I have learnt a lot from SMASK on and off the pitch. Aside from football, it has given me a chance to quality education. Regarding the game, I’ve improved technically, gained exposure and it has opened the doors for me to play on the national team and senior Vipers side.
Tell us about your experience with the youth national team.
Huh! It was a total learning experience for me. I remember my debut was against Ethiopia during the Caf Under 17 Regional Qualifiers in Dar-es Salaam, Tanzania. I was shy, nervous and really struggled to settle into the side. I was subsequently benched in the second game but got back into the starting eleven against Kenya in a must-win group game. I scored and felt so happy. It gave me confidence and things got better for me since then.
You have gone through the youth system and school teams over the years. Are you ready for the big stage?
Of course, I’m ready for a new challenge. My confidence and game have improved tremendously. Besides I am not afraid of competition so there is no better time than now.
What message do you have for your teammates at school that aspire to get where you are?
They should be patient, humble, focused and must work harder than they are doing now. Nothing comes easy, it takes a lot of effort to be successful.
Who is your favourite teammate? And why?
Karim Watambala. I have learnt some things from him and I greatly admire his skills.
Who is your toughest opponent?
Geoffrey Wasswa gives me a really hard time playing against because he is strong, reads the opponent’s move well thus making it hard to go past.
Where do you want to be in the next few years?
My goal is to play in Europe preferably in the English Premier League.
What should the fans expect from you?
I do not want to promise so much but let them know I’m here to compete and win everything for my team.
Name: Najib Iga
Date of Birth: December 18, 2002
Weight: 68 Kgs
Height: 5’9 ft
Strong Foot: Left
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