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Historic Uganda U-17 team returns home majestically after sealing AFCON U-17 slot

The National U-17 team (Uganda Cubs) successfully returned home from the AFCON U-17 qualifiers CECAFA Zone on Monday, 27th August 2018.

The triumphant side who defeated Ethiopia 3-1 in the final to win the championship and qualify for their first ever AFCON U-17 championship was officially welcomed by the FUFA Vice Presidents Darius Mugoye and Hon. Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi, FUFA Executive Committee members Hamid Juma and Ronnie Kalema, Delegates, FUFA Deputy CEO Humphrey Mandu and other FUFA Staff. The media did their job as well to capture the proceedings.

The Uganda U-17 delegation with some of the FUFA Executive Committee members at Jevine Hotel, Kampala on Monday

The team was later hosted to a welcome luncheon held at Jevine hotel in Rubaga.

At Rubaga, the team was joined by the FUFA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Edgar Watson who was just in time from the 2018 National Airtel Rising Stars grand finals held at Buhinga stadium in Fort Portal, Mathias Lule (Assistant coach, Uganda Cranes), Denis Lukambi (FUFA Legal officer) and other officials as well.

FUFA 3rd VP Hon. Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi and Ronnnie Kalema were some of the FUFA officials who welcomed the U-17 delegation from Tanzania at Entebbe International Airport. FUFA President Eng. Moses Magogo and FUFA 1st VP Justus Mugisha were in Tanzania to attend to CECAFA duties and alos cheer on the boys from the Semifinals stage till the final.

What they said at the Welcome luncheon:

Humphrey Mandu, Deputy Chief Executive Officer:

I welcome everyone to this historic function. I want in a special way to thank the FUFA President Eng. Moses Magogo and the Executive Committee as well as the entire working team for the day to day planning of the activities at FUFA. I thank the Leader of Delegation Rasoul Ariga and our special guests today (the players and team officials). Thank you for qualifying for the U-17 AFCON 2019 tournament.

L-R: FUFA CEO Edgar Watson, Uganda U17 Leader of Delegation Rasoul Ariga and FUFA VP Justus Mugisha
FUFA Deputy CEO Humphrey Mandu expertly handled the Master of Ceremony role during the welcome luncheon at Jevine Hotel

Head coach, Peter Onen

I thank the FUFA President,  the Vice Presidents, Executive Committee Members, Delegates, FUFA Staff members and my fellow Technical team members. It was a great moment for the recently concluded tournament that we emerged as champions. After a slow start, we believed as the tournament grew and worked hard. We shall keep focused for the future.

Peter Onen, Uganda U-17 head coach

Gavin Kizito Mugweri, team captain:

I thank FUFA especially the President Eng. Moses MAgogo for having given us the chance to participate. I also thank my fellow players. It is not yet over until it is over. We shall not only participate but also win the U-17 AFCON

Gavin Kizito the team captain confidently addresses the media at Entebbe International Airport upon arrival

Leader of Delegation, Rasoul Ariga:

I thank the entire Federation, our working team and the players. We have delivered the results. The focus now switches to the preparations for the AFCON U-17 finals in 2019 that will be hosted by Tanzania

Leader of delegation for the Uganda U-17 contingent in Tanzania, Rasoul Aliga
L-R: FUFA VP 1 Justus Mugisha, FUFA President Eng. Moses Magogo and FUFA VP 2 Darius Mugoye addressing the players and the media at Hotel Jevine in Kampala

Eng. Moses Magogo:

Everybody in the equation should perfect their own roles. As FUFA, we decided to undertake development. We have had two performance indicators when we employed two able young men – Mwebe Ali and Bashir Mutyaba to head the Football Development Department. We came out to say every club in the Uganda Premier League should own a junior team and the results are here. These players can be developed from the right age. Players are also developed by clubs. Federation puts in place regulatory mechanism. FUFA made a deliberate cost when we undertook the MRI  tests, paying for every player in the FUFA Juniors league to undertake the MRI test which is a very expensive venture. We pay all the coaches, we transport these teams.This is a statement that people should look at to understand these intentions. I thank the clubs and especially those that have given the young players an opportunity to play. We shall come out with a regulation of quotas for clubs to use these young players. We also came out with incentives as extra points for a win by more than two goals in a match to motivate the players to score as many goals as possible. I thank the technical team (coaches and the FUFA Development officer). I also thank the FUFA staff. The team showed a very high level of discipline, team work and the desire to win. Against Tanzania, one of the pre-tournament favourites, the team was too upbeat. They wore big hearts and are great fighters. I have a word of caution towards these players. They need guidance. They are not yet finished products, they are just a potential. Qualifying for AFCON U-17 is ten times better than the AFCON senior team. About the preparations for the AFCON U-17 tournament 2019, our fans should support the team. We shall give the best of preparations as a federation with camps, competitions and training matches. We shall put in place proper preparations. I thank the Government of Uganda for the financial support in funding the Uganda Cranes. We are building a strong team.

The Uganda U-17 team players

The Winning Players:

Gavin Kizito Mugweri (Captain), Ibrahim Ellokoti, Polycarp Mwaka, Yasin Wani, Daniel Ssewogerere, Kokas John, Iddi Abdul Wahid, Samson Kasozi, Najib Yiga, Delton Oyo, Owen Mukisa, Elvis Ngonde, Thomas Kakaire, Ibrahim Juma, George William Oluka, Kevin Ssekimera, Joseph Kafumbe, Rogers John, Davis Ssekatte, Ivan Asaba

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