Julius Poloto Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

U-20 Africa Qualifiers:

  • 1st Leg (Saturday, 31st March 2018): Uganda Hippos Vs South Sudan – Lugogo
  • 2nd Leg (20th – 22nd April 2018): South Sudan Vs Uganda Hippos – Juba

The Uganda national football team (The Hippos) has a new captain in Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Football Club utility player Julius Poloto.

Midfielders Frank “Zaga” Tumwesigye and Julius Poloto (right) share a light moment after training Credit: FUFA Media

The development has been confirmed by the team head coach, Mathias Lule on Monday after the early morning training at Lugogo in Kampala.

Julius Poloto is the new team captain, taking over from Muhammed Shaban who graduated to the U-23 (Uganda Kobs team).

He (Poloto) has the necessary leadership skills and knows well the team philosophy right from the U-17 set up. He will be deputized by Musitafa Mujjuzi.

For starters, Poloto was vice captain for the Hippos team at the 2017 COSAFA U-20 Championship in Zambia.

In fact, he captained the team during the final group game when Shaban was suspended after a red card in the second group stage match.

Poloto brings the crucial experience to the team at a time a couple of players find themselves out of the team after graduating to the U-21 and U-23 teams.

In an interview with Kawowo Sports, Poloto confidently expressed the urge to lead and inspire the rest of his teammates in he upcoming qualifiers;

Personally, i am grateful to God for this leadership position.

I have the will power and desire to lead and inspire my fellow players to greater heights. Playing at KCCA F.C has also helped a lot to gain confidence and the exposure especially playing in the CAF Champions league for now two seasons.

[/media-credit] Julius Poloto (shirt 15) against Egypt U-20 during the COSAFA U-20 tournament in Zambia last year Credit: COSAFA Media

Right back Andrew Okiring, Pius ‘TZ Iniesta’ Obuya, Emmanuel “Song” Olinga,  Alex ‘Koma’ Komekech, Azake Luboyera, David Owori, Eric Kibowa (goalkeeper), Ali Mwerusi , Charles Ssebutinde and Muhammed Shaban have all been elevated.

Meanwhile, the team conducted a 2 and hour half hours training session at Lugogo on Monday morning in a session that was decimated by slight rain drizzles.

Uganda Cranes hosts South Sudan during the first leg of the AFCON U-20 qualifier at Lugogo this Saturday.

The team is accommodated in a residential camp at African Bible University in Lubowa, off Entebbe road.

The 25 players in camp:
Goalkeepers: Tonny Kyamera (Buddo S.S and Express), Saidi Keni (Proline)
Defenders: Salim Kyobe (Spartan 05), Mustafa Kizza (KCCA), Musitafa Mujuzi (Proline), Geofrey Wasswa (Vipers), Bashir Asiku (Vipers), Fred Okot (URA), Hebert Ochayo (Kibuli S.S), Paul Willa (Police)
 Midfielders: Abubaker Kasule (Express), Allan Okello (KCCA), Frank ”Zaga” Tumwesigye (Vipers), Julius Poloto (KCCA), Ezra Bida (Onduparaka), Solomon Ovoyo (West Nile Province), Ivan Eyamu (Kataka), Faisal Sekyanzi (St Mary’s Nabweru), Joshua Okiror Ocen (Proline)
Strikers: Sadam Masereka (Buddo S.S)  Steven Desi Mukwala (Vipers), Hamisi Tibita (BUL), Ibrahim Thembo (Kansai Plascon), Denis Otim (Mbarara City), Joel Jangeyambe (West Nile Province), Joshua Wandera (Eastern), Sadat Anaku (KCCA Junior Team)

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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