Derrick Kakooza Credit: John Batanudde

If all goes according to plan, forward Derrick Kakooza will earn his first senior cap when Uganda Cranes take on South Africa Bafana Bafana in an international friendly on 12th June 2021.

The Police Football Club striker who was the tournament top scorer at the U-20 Africa Cup of Nations in Mauritania is excited having made the grade to the senior team.

“This is a dream come true. I had always wanted to graduate to the Uganda Cranes senior team and I will remain hardworking to maintain the form for years,” Kakooza told Kawowo Sports.

Derrick Kakooza celebrates a goal against UPDF at the MTN Omondi Stadium, Lugogo in Kampala

Kakooza is also marking his debut in the Uganda Premier League with Police FC, a club that he acknowledges having given him playing time and the due platform.

“I thank my coaches coach led by Abdallah Mubiru, my parents, friends, well-wishers, fans, and all the teammates plus people in the media for the encouragement and support in every way. I do not want to disappoint any because I want to keep up there for many years,” Kakooza adds.

Samuel Kato (right) in action against Derrick Kakooza during the U-20 friendly match against KCCA at the MTN Omondi stadium, Lugogo

He is among the many young players summoned for the international friendly match, all of whom graduated from the U-20 national team. Others are Aziz Kayondo, Gavin Kizito Mugweri, Kenneth Ssemakula, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Isma Mugulusi and Richard Basangwa.

The summoned crop has a couple of uncapped players as goalkeeper Simon Tamale, Innocent Wafula, Joseph Akandwanaho, and Express forward Erick Kambale.

Emmanuel Arnold Okwi of Al Ittihad Alexandria Club in Egypt is the team captain.

The team starts training on Monday, 31st May 2021 at the MTN Omondi stadium, Lugogo under coaches Abdallah Mubiru, Charles Livingstone Mbabazi, and goalkeeping coach Fred Kajoba Kisitu.

Uganda Cranes play South Africa in an international friendly as the two countries commence life after unsuccessful AFCON 2021 qualification campaigns. Thie match will prepare the sides ahead of the upcoming FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

Striker Derrick Kakooza poses with the AFCONU-20 top scorer trophy, special ball for scoring a hattrick and man of the match plaque Credit: John Batanudde

Uganda Cranes provisional team to face South Africa:

Goalkeepers: Ismael Watenga (Chippa United, South Africa), Mathias Kigonya (Azam, Tanzania), Charles Lukwago (KCCA, Uganda), Simon Tamale (Soltilo Bright Stars, Uganda)

Defenders: Elvis Bwomono (South End, England), Mustapha Kizza (Montreal Impact, Canada), Murushid Juuko (Express, Uganda), Patrick Paul Mbowa (URA, Uganda), Gavin Kizito Mugweri (SC Villa, Uganda), Azizi Kayondo (Vipers, Uganda), Halid Lwaliwa (Vipers, Uganda), Kenneth Ssemakula (Busoga United, Uganda), Enock Walusimbi (Express, Uganda), Hassan Muhamood (Police, Uganda), Innocent Wafula (Mbarara City, Uganda)

Midfielders: Moses Waiswa Ndohondhi (Super Sport United, South Africa), Tadeo Lwanga (Simba, Tanzania), Abdu Lumala (Pyramids, Egypt), Bobosi Byaruhanga (Vipers, Uganda), Ivan Sserubiri (URA, Uganda), Bright Anukani (KCCA, Uganda), Shafik Kuchi Kagimu (URA, Uganda), Isma Mugulusi (Busoga United, Uganda), Ibrahim Orit (Vipers, Uganda), Joseph Akandwanaho (Soltilo Bright Stars, Uganda)

Forwards: Emmanuel Arnold Okwi (Al Ittihad Alexandria Club, Egypt), Allan Okello (Paradou AC, Algeria), Patrick Henry Kaddu (Youssoufia Berrechid, Morocco), Yunus Sentamu (Vipers, Uganda), Richard Basangwa (Vipers, Uganda), Derrick Kakooza (Police, Uganda), Erick Kenzo Kambale (Express, Uganda)

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

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