The 18-year-old forward is ready to impress his coaches during the mini-tournament set to kick off in Dar es Salaam on February 15
Police FC youngster Derrick Kakooza has vowed to help Uganda’s U20 team perform well at the Tanzania mini-tournament.
The Hippos will use the competition to prepare for the Africa U20 Cup of Nations scheduled to be played in Mauritania from February 14.
After making the final cut of 25 players named by coach Morley Byekwaso for the tournament in Dar es Salaam, Kakooza has now said he will use the opportunity to cement his place in the team that will head to Mauritania by scoring many goals.
“I really feel grateful having made it to the final squad, a joyous Kakooza said as quoted by Police social media pages. “There are very many youths in Uganda who play football and being among the few to have made it to the final squad, feels really great and I thank God for the opportunity.”
Kakooza further said he will use the opportunity to break through to the national team and keep his place.
“Our coaches have prepared us very well and the whole team is in good shape. I want to score goals for our team and I promise not to let it down. This is my opportunity and I will try to use it well,” Kakooza continued.
The 18-year old forward has gone through all stages in the Police Academy right from the first one – the Police Kids Academy, Police Young, Armless Bridge, and now the senior team.
He also took his time to thank Police coach Abdallah Mubiru for identifying him and giving him the chance to play by stating: “Police have given me a platform to build my career and special thanks to [Mubiru] and the whole technical team for the support not forgetting my teammates.
“Our Hippo coaches have also prepared us well and I thank them too. Coach Morley Byekwaso and his technical team – I can’t thank them enough.”
The squad will leave for their neighbouring country for the 10-day tournament that will also include Namibia. Tanzania and the Hippos qualified for the U20 Afcon from Zone 5.
In the biennial competition, Uganda have been pooled in Group A, and the Hippos will have to do battle for a quarter-final berth with hosts Mauritania, Central African heavyweights Cameroon and Mozambique.
Hippos will play Mozambique in the first match on February 15 before they take on Cameroon on February 17 and finish their group matches with a clash against Mauritania on February 20.
Tanzania, who lost in the Cecafa final to Uganda, have been placed in a tough Group C that features Ghana, Gambia, and Morocco while Group B has Burkina Faso, Tunisia, Namibia, and the Central African Republic.
Goalkeepers: Komakech Jack (Ascent SA), Oyo Delton (Busoga United FC), Ssenyondwa Denis Kaala (SC Villa).
Defenders: Kizito Mugweri Gavin (SC Villa), Semakula Kenneth (Busoga United FC), Musa Ramathan (KCCA FC) Kafumbe Joseph (KCCA FC), Begisa James Penz (UPDF FC), Baligeya Simon (Kibuli SS), Abdul Azizi Kayondo (Vipers SC)
Midfielders: Mugulusi Isma (Busoga United FC), Yiga Najib (Vipers SC), Bobosi Byaruhanga (Vipers SC) Sserwadda Steven (KCCA FC), Eyamu Ivan (Mbarara City FC), Kawooya Andrew (KCCA FC), Asaba Ivan (Vipers SC), Ssekajja Davis (Bright Stars FC), Wabyoona Faisal (Big Talent SA).
Forwards: Bogere Ivan (Proline FC), Ssenyonjo Samuel (KCCA FC), Kakooza Derrick (Police FC), Basangwa Richard (Vipers SC), Bukenya Joseph Kizza (KCCA FC), Ssali Alpha Thierry (Proline FC).