Youngster Arnold Nagaba has completed his move to United Arab Emirates Second division outfit Dubai City FC from Uganda’s Excel Soccer Academy.
The 18-year-old has benefitted from the ongoing partnership between the two soccer grooming entities and becomes the first Ugandan to make it to their books.
“It is with so much joy and pleasure that we can announce the first Ugandan player, Arnold Nagaba, joining the club for an amazing full-time footballing opportunity in Dubai,” the U-23 coach Sam White said.
“The incredible work that Excel Soccer Academy is doing in Uganda has allowed for the opportunity and the growth of the partnership with our club,” he added.
The right midfielder’s move is a step forward in his young career as City provide incredible exposure to the bigger footballing sphere.
The club’s U-23 academy partners with Scottish side Aberdeen and has had U-18 players feature at the likes of Manchester United’s U-23 sides in 2019.
Dubai City has forged a formidable reputation in a market that already has academy setups affiliated to some of the biggest clubs in the world, such as Barcelona and Real Madrid.
The club is on a strong recruitment spree, and Nagaba will join new signings in Cayman Islands’ international Oladepo Bailey, English forwards James Parnaby and Muhammad Abdul Rahman.
Excel Director Patrick Gwayambadde also expressed delight at the move and his Academy’s recent excellent work.
“We are extremely proud of this move because it gives us a benchmark over which other boys can have hope.”
“We have recently seen boys like Steven Sserwada who was for some time with us joining New York Red Bull, Hassan Kafeero, who last week joined Chowan University from here and now Arnold(Nagaba),” he added.
He also confirmed that some other youngsters could make it to greater heights as he continues to probe for opportunities.
“I am soon travelling to the USA, where I have several meetings to establish more partnerships to create exits for many of our boys and girls who are still here developing with us.”
Excel has offered hope to young footballers in a country that has invested so little in preparing talent.