The long awaited CECAFA U20 returns this month since it was last held way back in 2010 in Asmara, Eritrea.
Then, Uganda clinched the crown on August 29 with a laboured 5-3 penalty shootouts win against hosts Eritrea after normal time had ended one all.
This, was like a consolation after Uganda bundled out of the African Youth championship in hands of Egypt.
We remembered some of the players that were on the team that played the finals.
Godwin Buule – An outstanding goalkeeper who came out in action to save the situation. He was very integral as the Uganda Hippos made it all the way unbeaten. In the final, he kept out Yonathan Solomon’s penalty to prove the difference.
He his a league winner with Vipers. He has played for Soana (now Tooro United) and Masavu (now Entebbe FC). He had a six month spell at Lugogo with Proline FC before joining Express FC.
Buule has been one of the most underated goalkeepers and very unfortunate to be born in the same era that Cranes had Denis Onyango.
He is currently with Bright Stars, where he joined at the beginning of the 2019/20 season and has failed to beat Nicholas Ssebwato for a starting place in the team.
Ayub Kisalita – He played at right back then, yes. Another regular fixture in the squad as Uganda left Asmara unbeaten.
Born December 25, 1992, Kisalita can play anywhere in the defence line and his versatility has seen him play in the midfield as well since.
He has played for Lweza FC, Bunamwaya, SC Villa and Express FC. Just like Buule, Kisalita has also failed to make it to the senior National team.
He is currently with newly promoted Uganda Premier League outfits Wakiso Giants where he regularly starts from the bench.
Denis Guma – Call him Iguma, no offence. The Kalangala born was very industrious in Uganda’s run to clinch the CECAFA crown including scoring a penalty in the shootouts final.
He has since played for the defunct Victoria University where he left a row with bosses. He scored the only goal for the Cranes as Uganda beat Tanzania in CHAN qualifiers in 2013 and made the final squad for the 2014 CHAN.
The former Kampala Kids League player has played for SC Villa, Entebbe Red Cross, Al Aed in Lebanon and he is currently in Kuwait with Kuzma.
He, in March 2019, pulled out of Desabre’s Uganda Cranes squad that was preparing to face Tanzania in the final AFCON qualifiers before he was replaced by Kirizestom Ntambi.
Sula Matovu – He also started the final game against Eritrea and had earlier exchanged minutes with Isaac Muleme in some few games at the 2010 tourney.
Matovu has played for Nalubaale (and Proline), Saint George, Erbil, Najaf and Kaizer Chiefs in South Africa.
Despite all that exposure in outside countries, he has also failed to own that prestigious Uganda Cranes Jersey.
He is currently playing for a club in Oman called Mirbat.
Alex Kakuba – Born June 12 in 1991. With Kisalita, Iguma and Kirizestom Ntambi, they formed a strong partnership.
Kakuba is one of those players that has played for clubs outside Uganda.
He has played in Portugal with the likes of Covilha, Estoril, Feirense and is now at Cova Piedade. He also had stints in Greece with Pas Giannina in 2018.
Ivan Bukenya – Another great pillar in the team. He exchanged his minutes with Andrew Waiswa but started the final.
He scored in the 3-2 close win against Zanzibar in the tourney, Dan Sserunkuma and Umar Ngobi were the other scorers.
He was also on target as Uganda beat Yemen 3-2, still in the group stages.
Gifted with height, the centre back also played in Bobby Williamson’s Uganda Cranes 2011 CHAN team in Sudan.
He is a also a product of Proline Academy. He had stints with Erbil FC (Iraq), Kaizer Chiefs (South Africa), East Bengal (India), Linkoping (Sweden FC).
He played for Police FC last season.
Dan Sserunkuma – The reliable striker on the team who delivered.
He made Uganda’s intentions known with an hat-trick against Rwanda in the opener. He also scored against Zanzibar in a 3-2 win as Uganda topped group B.
He was on target in the 2-1 win against Kenya in the semis with Saddam hitting the other goal. Josephat Okumu scored Kenya’s consolation as Uganda stormed the finals.
It should also be remembered that Sserunkuma scored on his senior debut for Uganda Cranes in 2013 agaisnt Rwanda, where he also provided an assist.
He played for Express FC before leaving for Victors. He has had stints with Nairobi Stars, Gor Mahia, Simba, Ulysses and Bandari.
Kazepa or Muzeyi as called by friends, is currently with Vipers SC a team he joined from Express FC.
Hakim Ssenkumba – A hardworking midfielder who did most of the dirty work for the team in a bid to win possession. He also converted his spotkick in shootouts.
Despite his heroics, he has since failed to break into the Uganda Cranes team.
He has had stints in Zambia with Napsa Stars after trying his luck against Police FC, KCCA, Villa and Bunamwaya FC.
He is currently with Musa Atagenda Ssebulime’s Wakiso Giants, a club he helped to win promotion from the FUFA Big League.
Patrick Lechi Edema – He was on target as the Hippos came from down to beat Yemen 3-2 in the groups.
Born August 27 1992, he is another Proline FC academy player. He also featured for Saint George, Victoria University, Beira Mar, Limianos, Anadia, Sanjoanense and Electrico.
He broke to the scene with St Mary’s Kitende in the Copa Cola-cola schools football championship.
He is currently playing with Sacavenense FC in Portugal.
Ibrahim Saddam Juma – He started in the finals, playing as an attacking midfielder, a role he is most known for.
He scored the last goal as Uganda completed a comeback against Yemen in groups, he was also on target as Uganda beat Kenya in the semis.
Notably, he scored in the finals against Eritrea but the latter equalise before Uganda clinched the title via penalties.
JumaNature, as he prefers to be called, is currently at KCCA FC where he joined from Express FC. He has been a regular fixture in the senior National team.
Luwagga Kizito – He never scored a goal in normal time, but was influential in the whole tournament throughout. He scored in shootouts in the final.
He is without doubt the most successful player of the lot.
He received his first call up to the senior national team in 2012 before scoring his first goal in on June 4, 2016 against Botswana. He has represented Uganda at two AFCONs.
He played for Vipers from 2009-12 before seeking for greener pastures in Portugal with Leixoes, Covilha, Rio Ave and Feirense. He played for Romania’s Politehnica Lasi, Bate Borisov (loan).
He is currently in Kazakhstan with Shakhtar Karagandy on loan from the Romanian club.
Coach – Frank Video Aanyau. He made everything happen, together with team manager Mohamed Faizal.
He has also coached the senior team, Dairy FC, Police FC, Express, Entebbe, BUL and Baza Holdings.
He was a technical manager at SC Villa, the same role he is currently reprising at Busoga United.
In the final, Umar Ngobi came in for Dan Sserunkuma at the half hour mark, Andrew Waiswa replaced Ivan Bukenya in extra time.
Other notable mentions on the team include – Ali Kimera, Kirizestom Ntambi, Isaac Muleme, Michael Mutyaba, Ibrahim Kiiza, Brian Majwega.
Referee Brian Miiro and assistant Musa Balikoowa were the Ugandan officials who officiated the tourney.