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Vipers appoint former Yanga and Al-Merrikh head coach as Isabirye’s replacement

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David GOMBE 

Vipers Sports Club have appointed Brazilian native Leonard Martins Neiva, popularly known as Leo Neiva as their new head coach.

He replaces from Alex Isabirye, who resigned from the role earlier this month.

The Brazilian has penned down a two-year employment contract with the Uganda Premier league and Stanbic Uganda Cup Champions.

He becomes the third Brazilian to manage at Vipers after Roberto Robertinho Oliviera and Beto Bianchi.

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The 45-year-old has been in the dugout before as both a club and national team manager, across various continents including North America, the Caribbean, South East Asia and Africa.

Neiva began his coaching career as an assistant coach at America CF in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2007.

That was before his first move to Africa at South Africa’s Platinum Stars as the club’s academy coach between 2008-2009.

He then returned to Brazil at Bonsucesso-RJ, before turning to the youth side of Yadanarborn FC, where he inspired many youngsters to make the Brazilian U-20 grade.

He was then made head coach of Rakhine United between 2011-2012, in the Myanmar National League, and at 34, he was the youngest coach there.

Neiva also previously worked at Tanzania’s Young Africans SC in 2014 and won both the Tanzanian Super Cup and the 2014/15 Premier League before joining Jamaican side Montego Bay United, who he helped scoop the national championship in 2016.

In a short 2016-2017 spell, he worked again at Yadanarborn and the now defunct Thai Honda FC.

In 2019, Neiva made his way back to Brazil at Clube Atletico Itapemirim for just a season before handling the Saint Kitts and Nevis senior men’s national soccer team.

Most recently he has managed at Sudanase Al-Merrikh.

Neiva’s career as a coach

2007:- América (Assistant)
2008-2009:- Platinum Stars F.C. (Youth)
2010:- Bonsucesso
2010-2011:- Yadanarbon F.C. (Youth)
2011/2012:- Rakhine United FC
2013:- Associação Atlética Francana
2014/2015:- Young Africans SC
2015/2016:- Montego Bay United
2016/2017:- Yadanarbon F.C.
2017:- Thai Honda F.C.
2019/2020:- Clube Atlético Itapemirim
2021:- Saint Kitts and Nevis
2021/2022:- Al-Merrikh SC

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