Current Club: Vipers SC (Uganda)
DOB: 6 October 2002
Birthplace: Kalungu, Uganda
Height: 167 cm (5’6)
Weight: 67 kg (148 lbs)
|Vipers SC (2018-)
|Uganda Premier League
|Uganda U-20 (2021-)
|Youth National Team
|Senior National Team
Aziz Kayondo emerged as one of Uganda’s most promising young players due to performances last season in the Uganda Premier League and extended exposure as Uganda’s starter at both the African Nations Championship (CHAN) and Africa U-20 Cup of Nations (AFCON U-20) in 2021. Showing promise at the CHAN and then blossoming into the undisputed leader of the under-20 side that reached the finals of the AFCON U-20, the Vipers SC left-back’s fearlessness as a captain was one of the highlights for the Hippos.
As a player Kayondo is a technically proficient full-back who prefers to attack much more than defend. His fierce mentality can obscure an average physical build for a full-back. Always looks to get forward, keeps head up well and covers ground quickly with ball at feet. Good speed and good crosser of the ball, not excellent in either category currently. Plenty of areas to improve as a defender.
General Pros and Cons
+ Covers ground rapidly going forward with the ball; always looking to attack.
+ Promising leadership ability. Leader at the youth national team level and continuing to grow at senior team level.
+ Serves in quality set pieces and crosses. Improving at crossing while running with the ball.
– Impatient defender who is prone to fouling.
– Struggles in physical and aerial duels. Average winning % rate on duels at the U-20 level and plenty of room for improvement at senior level.
[plus_sign_fusion_icon] Good if not excellent speed over distance with quick acceleration.
[plus_sign_fusion_icon] Maintained performance well over 90 minutes while starting every match in a tournament format. Shows the stamina required of a starting full-back.
[minus_sign_fusion_icon] Physically light. Needs to be on the attack in physical battles or will end up on the losing end in defensive duels.
[plus_sign_fusion_icon] Confident when serving the ball from out wide. Precise when striking free-kicks or when ball is under control.
[plus_sign_fusion_icon] Assured on the ball and possesses a couple of tricks to escape pressure and maintain possession.
[minus_sign_fusion_icon] Lacks sophistication in his challenges. Has plenty of experience to gain as far as winning 1v1 battles on defense.
◊ Currently average to below average dribbler. Doesn’t have the ability of a winger to break down defenses with attacking 1v1 moves. Works best when finding space on overlaps to cross rather than when running at defenders.
[plus_sign_fusion_icon] Proved himself as a leader at the U-20 level and fit in well for the local-based national team at the CHAN as a young starter.
[plus_sign_fusion_icon] Fiercely competitive nature was shown on multiple occasions.
[minus_sign_fusion_icon] Can be a bit unpredictable in the defensive third when in possession. Needs to continue to work on general decision-making when in his own half.
[plus_sign_fusion_icon] Moves the ball forward quickly and with urgency. Shows more composure as he gets forward.
[plus_sign_fusion_icon] Keeps head up well. Unafraid to switch the point of play or push tempo with longer passes.
[minus_sign_fusion_icon] Positioning can be an issue. Takes the wrong angle on tackles at times and gets caught forward occasionally.
[minus_sign_fusion_icon] Commits far too many fouls. Has a frantic style of defending that is impatient and needs much refining.
For Kayondo’s statistical analysis a group of ten left-backs from each of the AFCON U-20 and CHAN were selected who played at least 300 minutes. Let’s start with where Aziz ranks in more offensive categories between the two tournaments:
|Passing Completion %
|Pass Completion % To Final 1/3
Despite his young age and going against talented, more experienced competition at the CHAN, Kayondo was able to stand out for his ability to move the ball forward efficiently and get involved in the attack. At the AFCON U-20 his status as the best attacking left-back is undisputed. For Uganda’s struggling CHAN side Kayondo was a bright spot but not the focus of the attack. However, his excellence going forward at the U-20 level was emphasized in the Hippos’ attacking strategy throughout their run to the final. Below are some of Kayondo’s highlights in possession and going forward:
However, defense proved to be an area where Kayondo needs substantial improvement in preparing for the next level. Here’s a brief look at his standing in a few defensive statistical categories between the tournaments:
|Defensive Duel Win %
|Interceptions/90 (Possession Adjusted)
Kayondo rated towards the middle of the pack in the group of AFCON U-20 defenders, eager to impose himself but lacking efficiency on his engagements and being prone to fouls. At the CHAN the story was different. Aziz was much more cautious but continued to underwhelm as a defender. As seen in the video below, Kayondo has the impatience that is often characteristic of wide defenders who prefer attacking more than defending:
Evaluation: Promising mental and technical ability makes Kayondo a prospect worthy of higher-level development; needs games to improve defending
Aziz Kayondo shows plenty of confidence in his ability as a leader and attacking left-back, traits that will always be worthy of extra attention. Kayondo’s substantial professional and international experience over the last two years is clear in his confidence moving forward with the ball. Still very young at 18-years-old and appearing to be on the verge of upgrading to appearances with Uganda’s full senior national team, it should only be a matter of time before the Vipers defender makes a move as he obtains more experience with the top domestic side.
What is most important at this point for Kayondo is steady playing time. Many Ugandan players recently have tried their luck at North African sides when moving abroad but there are limited playing opportunities if Kayondo doesn’t come right in and perform. A team that can provide either some first-team minutes or loans for playing time will serve Aziz best. Going to a destination like Major League Soccer or Portugal will feature Kayondo’s attacking strengths and develop his defensive weaknesses best.