Emmanuel Derrick Were holds the University Football League trophy

Promising goalkeeper Emmanuel Derrick Were harbours something special on his heart for the dear parents.

Standing at 5.9 feet, Were whose mother and father are public servants serving with diligence in the Uganda Police and Prisons services respectively, yearns to pay back handsomely.

Samuel Were, the father is a retired footballer who still works in the Uganda Police whilst the mother, Gladys Ayot is a Prisons officer.

Emmanuel Derrick Were is a good ball playing goalkeeper with confidence

“I want to play football and make my parents so rich,” Were, the second born in the family of five lets the cat of the bag for his dream.

Were was born at the Prisons Staff clinic in the Kampala city suburb of Luzira on 21st September 1999.

He enrolled for primary education at Mivule Primary School, Luzira up to P4.

It was in Primary four that he started to play the beautiful game with fellow youngsters, as a goalkeeper.

Emmanuel Derrick Were collects the ball during Ssingo’s 3-0 win over Ssese in the 2019 Masaza opener

“I started to play football way back in Primary four class as a goalkeeper. From that time, I did not look back,” Were recounts.

In Primary five, Were shifted to Nakirebe Primary School, Mpigi where he completed his Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE).

For secondary education, he studied three different schools; commencing S1 to S4 at Lugazi based Risah Standard School, joining Royal Giant Mityana in S5 before completing the “A-Level” studies at Blessed Sacrament Kimanya in Masaka.

Emmanuel Derrick Were command teammates. He is a an excellent team leader

“Throughout my education levels, I was studying on a bursary scheme because of the goalkeeping talent,” he adds.

Currently, Were is now a third-year student at Mukono based Uganda Christian University (UCU) where he is studying a Bachelors in Business Administration (BBA) having elevated from a Diploma in the same course.

Emmanuel Derrick Were

Champion Goalkeeper:

Were has already proved that he is an achiever, having played four finals in the Buganda Masaza Cup in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, winning three titles.

He triumphed with Singo (2015 and 2018) as well as with Buddu in 2016.

Ssingo’s XI vs Ssese. Were is third from the left on the front row
Were hoisted the University Football League trophy as captain for team UCU

In 2019, he won a double with Uganda Christian University (UCU) as a captain winning the Pepsi University Football League (UFL) and the Association of Uganda University Sports (AUUS) run football event.

UCU beat St Lawrence 2-1 in the final of the UFL played at Lugogo and overcame Islamic University In Uganda (IUIU) 1-0 during the final played at St Mary’s College playground, Kisubi.

Emmanuel Derrick Were hoists the UFL trophy in 2019

Role Models:

As he was growing up, Were admired Godfrey Atiku and Emmanuel Akol, two goalkeepers at Maroons Football Club.

Later, as he matured, he fell in love with Brian Bwete, then at Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Football Club when their home ground was at Mehta Stadium in Lugazi.

Then, on the national team, he admired Denis Onyango, a goalkeeper he wants to emulate.

“I work hard to be like Denis Onyango. He is a team leader and a great shot-stopper. He is too good,” Were speaks of the Uganda Cranes captain and first-choice goalkeeper.

Denis Onyango in action for the Uganda Cranes at Namboole Stadium, Were aspires to be like Onyango

Internationally, Vito Mannone, Manuel Nuer, Dean Bradley Henderson, Iker Casillas, Jordan Lee Pickford and Itumeleng Khune are his picks for their incredible display especially with the service of the ball and kicks.

He cites a number of coaches as Shafiq Bisaso, Jackson Nyima, Mubarak Kiberu, Kabugo Mansoor and Felix Kawooya Ssekabuuza for guiding him throughout this career.

Shafik Bisaso

Were kicked off his career at Maroons Academy, featured at Kyebando Hearts, Kiboga Young and lately features at Kiyinda Boys in the Buganda Regional league.

Were is confident with the ball on his feet

A ball-playing goalkeeper, Were yearns to elevate his status and play for top clubs in the Uganda Premier League as well as the later feature for the national team, Uganda Cranes.

A diligent servant at Singo Ssaza team, Were is highly linked to a move to record champions Gomba when the 2020 Masaza Cup tournament kicks off.

For this goalkeeper, he will confesses to continue working hard and fulfill the life time dream of making the parents’ lives a dream come true.

Were interacts with a teammate, Sharif Lubega during a football game


  • Full Name: Emmanuel Derrick Were
  • Nickname: Mannone
  • Parents: Samuel Were and Gladys Ayot
  • Date of Birth: 21st September 1999
  • Place of Birth: Luzira, Kampala
  • Height: 5.9 Feet
  • Weight: 72 Kgs
  • Education: Mivule Primary School, Luzira (P1- P4), Nakirebe Primary School, Mpigi (P5-P7), Risah Standard School,  Lugazi (S1-S4), Royal Giant Mityana (S5), Blessed Sacrament Kimanya, Masaka (S6), Uganda Christian University, Mukono (Third Year Student, Bachelors of Business Administration)
  • Football Journey: Maroons Academy, Kyebando Hearts, Kiboga Young, Kiyinda Boys (Current)
  • Strong Foot: Right
  • Role Models: Godfrey Atiku, Emmanuel Akol, Brian “Ziggi” Bwete, Denis Onyango, Vito Mannone, Iker Casillas, Manuel Neuer, Dean Bradley Henderson, Jordan Lee Pickford and Itumeleng Khune
  • Mentors: Shafiq Bisaso, Jackson Nyima, Mubarak Kiberu, Mansoor Kabugo Felix Kawooya Ssekabuuza, Ben Kalama, James Ochemeri, Jimmy Kintu, Christian “Mago” Magoba
  • Media personalities: Alex Kabwama (Swift Sports), Lawrence of UFL, David Gombe (Swift Sports), David Isabirye (Kawowo Sports), Rose Nakyeyune (Top TV), Arthur Nagimensi (UCU)
  • Special Credits: UCU team. Administrators most especially Samuel Lukaire and Mr Cornelius Engwenyu
  • Best Dish: Matooke and Greens

Were is a good upcoming goalkeeper. He has proved to be hard to beat and a team leader

Felix Kawooya Ssekabuuza, CAF B Coach

Were is a God fearing man. In everything he does, he presents God first. With Were in the goal posts, you have surety and confidence. He is an exceptional team player and does the basics right. He does not leave anything behind him. He gives 101 percent in a particular man.

Christian Magoba, CAF B Coach
Emmanuel Derrick Were (First from left) with the Ssingo team prior to the 2019 official opening match of the Masaza Cup at Mityana Ssaza ground

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

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