Following his big profile in the history of Ugandan football, Jackson Mayanja was honored to take charge of choosing best performers of the JKA Junior Tournament.
Mayanja, aged 53 has a record of nine (9) goals in 25 FIFA matches, one (1) goal in 2 non-FIFA matches. He made his first national team appearance in 1988 and made his last in 1999, making it a smooth career of 11 years for his country – Uganda.
On the tournament, he was trusted by the organizing team and all other stakeholders with responsibility to select best performers.
These were to be in the categories of; Most Valued Player (MVP), Best Goalkeeper, Best Defender, Top Scorer for both Under 10, 12, 14 and Fairplay team of the Tournament. And his selection was as follows:
Most Valued Player (MVP) – U10: Sowedi Musika, Rays of Grace Academy
"He was helpful both offensive and defensively, very good vision which made him exceptional."
Top scorer – U10: Frank Mubiru, Excel Academy
"He scored four goals in his under, and these were the most goals of the whole tournament."
Best Goalkeeper – U10: Abdul Rahuman, Joe Kigozi Academy
"He made many saves though still having height issues but despite all that he made great saves."
Best Defender – U10: Aksam Lukwago, Joe Kigozi Academy
"He could command the ball like an elder person, shielding it and has good height and is very speedy."
Most Valued Player (MVP) – U12: Brian Lukyamuzi – Excel Academy
"He was the pivot of the team and had the best passing accuracy which made him exceptional."
Top scorer – U12: Joshua, Teletubbies Academy
" He scored three goals in two matches which were the most in his age group."
Special Talent: Jimmy Ndiwulila, Joe Kigozi Academy
"Jimmy was match of the match for three matches and scoring two goals. He is that player no defender wound want to face because of his ball carrying technique, dribbling, pace and determination "
Best Goalkeeper – U12: Asuman Kato – Joe Kigozi Academy
"Has great height and using his legs as well to make saves and he made four clean sheets without conceding any goal. He has very good techniques."
Best Defender – U12: Blick – Excel Academy
"He has good command in defense which makes him a good leader as one of the best traits for defenders."
Most Valued Player (MVP) – U14: Ali Nasur, Joe Kigozi Academy
"He was the engine of the team covering the highest distance, having a very good height for his position and very defensive like an elder person which even some of the big premier league players do not do."
Top scorer – U14: Dan Ssekibenge, Joe Academy
"Dan scored two goals which were the most in his age group. Besides, he is a very dangerous player in opponent's box."
Best Goalkeeper – U14: Nathan Ogwang, Joe Kigozi Academy
"Good communication skills with his players, using his legs and playing from behind and a very soft foot."
And according to Mayanja, we should endeavor to keep such exception young players by at least joining a league when they get to 16 plus for continuity purposes.
Best Defender – U14: Budia Uthman, Joe Kigozi Academy
"Besides being a girl, Budia has great height and excellent ball shielding technique."
Fairplay Team of the Tournament: Teletubbies
"They were the most disciplined team of the tournament both on and off the pitch even why they were defeated they kept calm."
Speaking to the press, the veteran footballer stated that JKA Tournament is a very good initiation that would give exposure to young players to demonstrate their skills.
“I would like to say that this is a very good initiation for the little ones who demonstrated their skills and these could be the next superstars to watch. Kudos to JKA, partners and the team,” Mr. Mayanja said.
He however mentioned that there is still a big gap in how academies in Uganda operate that eventually leads to the vanishing of good players disappear thus giving a possible solution.
“There is no continuity in most of Ugandan academies therefore we should there should be a need for these academies to start competing in regional leagues or 4th division for the kids that are aged 16 years and above. This will create a good platform for these players.
Take an example of Muijib who is participating in such leagues and has managed to sell players to great clubs in the world.
Of recent, I was called in Tanzania when they were in need of a 19 year old player, but they were nowhere to be found. I had to send KCCA player to them,” he added.
He therefore urged all academies to solve the issue of lack of continuity for the sake of the future of these young players.