Shining a Light on the relevance of the FUFA Junior League and its stars

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By Ali Mutanje

Uganda Youth Federation has a vision to tap deeper into talents by instituting academy leagues for both boys and girls. 

Since 2014, FUFA has performed extremely high in the development of young talent with the building of the FUFA football Development Department to aid the vision. 

In 2015, the FUFA junior league was formed. To see how successful it has been you need look no further than Allan Okello and Mustafa Kizza who are currently plying their trade out of the country having come through these youth ranks. 

Fast forward, the current crop is very promising, Frank Tumwesigye, Salim Abdallah, Sadat Anaku, Julius Poloti and Paul Willa are shining stars in the Uganda Premier League who are products of the FUFA junior League program. 

U20 promising 

Hippos team that returned with silverware in the Afcon U20 tournament in Mauritania had the FUFA junior league players all over. 

Captain Garvin Kizito, top scorer Kakooza Derrick midfielders Bono’s Byaruhanga and Steven Sserwada were complimented by a defensive line of Ssenkali’s Musa Ramadhan and Kayondo Aziz were instrumental in the Hippos journey to the finals in their debut tournament. 

Therefore the significance of the Junior league cannot be overstated with 29 of the 25 man squad being products of the FUFA U17 junior league. 

Furthermore, KCCA Soccer Academy left back Ibrahim Jim’s who captained the U17 national team to qualification for the 2021 AFCON17 is a sure measure of the kids spread all over. 

The juniors league is also providing a platform for club licensing players in addition to facilitating extensive scouting programs and channeling players to the UPL and 2nd division. 

Bad news

After the nullification of the 2021 FUFA Junior League season because of COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, and cancellation of the 2021 Total U17 AFCON, the kids have been limited to less training and low supervision by their coaches. 

This is a big setback to a project that has yielded a lot of fruit to the development of the most followed sport in the land.

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