Uganda has never won a continental or global football tournament and that is something the Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) is fighting tooth and nail to put right.
Despite back to back Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) appearances, not even the Men’s football national team-The Uganda Cranes has managed win the continental championship.
Of late, the dream of winning one, looks most likely to come through underage football as Uganda’s junior teams have been dominate especially on the regional scene, winning several CECAFA tournaments and producing decent results against several continental giants.
With the local-based Cranes team at CHAN, the U20 Men’s football national team-the Hippos are currently preparing for the 2020 AFCON in Mauritania.
The under age tournament which was also set to act as the World Cup qualifiers (before it was cancelled) are slated to start in February and end in March.
A squad of 37 players started training on Thursday, January 21 at the MTN Omondi stadium in Lugogo.
On Friday, they continued with their preparations with a morning session at the same venue.
Speaking after the session, team captain Gavin Kizito emphasized that they will head to Mauritania wanting to ‘conquer’ the continent.
“We are done with our morning session and all players are in good shape. The SC Villa defender noted.
“We have started preparing for our AFCON 2021 tournament which is going to take place in Mauritania and I am sure we are going to conquer and qualify for the World cup because we are all in good shape and the players are prepared.
“We are all training very well despite this being only our second training. As the players, our main target is to win the title and play at the World cup.”
The Hippos who are currently residing at Paradise Hotel in Kisasi will hold another training session on at 3pm on Friday.
Uganda qualified for the U20 AFCON tournament after winning the Regional qualifiers in Tanzania this past December.
The Provisional Squad that was announced on Tuesday, January 19
Komakech Jack (Ascent SA), Kiberu Ronald (Synergy FC), Oyo Delton (Busoga United FC), Ssenyondwa Denis Kaala (SC Villa), Ochama Daniel (Boro Boro Super Sport FC), Kato Peter (Super Cubs FC)
Kizito Mugweri Gavin (SC Villa), Semakula Kenneth (Busoga United FC), Kayondo Abdu Aziizi (Vipers SC), Musa Ramathan (KCCA FC) Kafumbe Joseph (KCCA FC), Kitabalwa Robert (Vipers SC), Begisa James Penz (UPDF FC), Baligeya Simon (Kibuli SS), Bbosa Richard (Express FC).
Mugulusi Isma (Busoga United FC), Yiga Najib (Vipers SC), Sserwadda Steven (KCCA FC), Byaruhanga Bobosi (Vipers SC), Lutalo Umar (Aspire Academy), Alou John Kokas (URA FC), Okur Swamadu (Kataka FC), Eyamu Ivan (Mbarara City FC), Kawooya Andrew( KCCA FC), Asaba Ivan (Vipers SC), Ssekajja Davis (Bright Stars FC), Wabyoona Faisal (Big Talent SA).
Bogere Ivan (Proline FC), Ssenyonjo Samuel (KCCA FC), Kakooza Derrick (Police FC), Basangwa Richard (Vipers SC), Odokonyero Nathan (Lincoln City FC U18-UK), Kitaka Samuel Moses (Loughborough University-UK), Bukenya Joseph Kizza (KCCA FC), Onyai Raymond (Mbarara City FC), Mulindi Ashiraf (Kataka FC), Mukisa Emmanuel (Kataka FC), Ssali Alpha Thierry (Proline FC).
Byekwaso Morley – Head Coach
Masaba Simeon – Assistant Head Coach
Kiggundu Steven Billy – Goalkeeping Coach
Katumba Yahaya – Doctor
Mutyaba Bashir – Team Manager
Kasirye Alex – Team Media Officer
Bumpenje Frank – Kits Manager