Ssebuliba said following the coach’s instructions and hard work helped him win.
PIC: KJT's Umar Ssebuliba poses with his MVP Award on return from the China Gothia Cup. (Credit: Michael Nsubuga)
KAMPALA - Winning the China Gothia Cup Most Valuable Player Award has has been a motivation to the youngster.
The Kampala Junior Team’s (KJT) Umar Ssebuliba, has been inspired to work harder to fulfill his dream of playing professional football.
On return from the tournament at Entebbe with the rest of the U-12 and U-17 team members, the 16-year-old said he was even hungry for more following his first international individual accolade.
“I have won a top scorers award in a soccer camp at Luzira before but this one feels even better.
"I felt good when I won it and it inspired me to aim for even more because it is every players’ dream to keep winning such accolades,” Ssebuliba who was part of the national U-17 team that competed in the CECAFA tournament in Burundi early this year said.
The Kampala Junior Team U-12 and U-17 teams on return with their accolades from the China Gothia Cup, at Entebbe, August 30 2018. (Credit: Michael Nsubuga)
He said following the coach’s instructions and hard work helped him win it because they were only a team of 11 without substitutes but managed to reach the final where they lost 1-0 to a Vietnamese side.
“We believed in ourselves and put in practice what we have always been taught during training. But I realized whoever wants to go pro has to work extra hard because we were playing against well drilled teams who know how to pass the ball; but good enough we were equally prepared,” the midfield gem-Citizen College S.3 student said.
Abdu Shakur Nsereko who won a similar award said perfecting the coach’s instructions and adding in a few of his own tricks, his high work rate were key in winning him the award.
The U-17 team won three matches against and drew 2 matches in the preliminaries before losing the final 1-0 to Vietnamese PFV.
The U-12 team inspired by Abdu Nsereko who also grabbed the MVP award, for the second year running won the overall trophy.
“It was a good trip and our U-12 won four and drew one match before winning the final 5-1 against a Japanese side.
"We were well prepared following our debut last year but we went with a small team in the U-17 but I commend them for making the final,” team coach Mansoor Kabugo said.
He said they had net worked with the organisers telling them of Uganda’s talent and potential and in return they promised to help the team with some of the logistics in next year’s tournament.
The team was delayed in China for four days having missed their initial flight back due to bad weather.
The Gothia Cup China is an open tournament that attracts teams from around the world. This year’s tournament attracted over 300 teams in different categories.