There is a lot to remember about Uganda Hippos’ voyage to the final of the 2021 U20 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament.
The story is one to behold as they became just the second Ugandan side to reach the final of a continental competition, writing history akin to the 1978 legends who reached the AFCON final.
For striker Derrick Kakooza, the AFCON U20 may be the moment he etched his name in Ugandan football’s folklore, and he continues reaping from his performance at the showpiece.
Kakooza was voted the Fortebet Real Star Player of the month for March for his five goals at the tournament.
And it is at the awarding ceremony that he disclosed how he spent sleepless nights after grabbing a milestone hat-trick in the semi-final against Tunisia.
“I want to be realistic to you, on that day I scored a hat-trick I did not sleep, when everyone else was asleep at the hotel, I was awake,” Kakooza exclusively told Football256.
The feat didn’t only give Kakooza sleepless nights, it also opened eyes on how good he is as a players
“After the game against Tunisia one of the Journalists asked me which club I turn out for, many thought I play somewhere like in France.”
“When I said that I play for Police FC in Uganda they were all surprised that I am a locally based player, such shows how good I was at the tournament.”
“Finishing as the tournament top scorer and then being voted on the tournament best XI was also memorable for me,” he added.
Kakooza a product of the FUFA Junior League with Police Armless Brigade hopes to turn pro in the near future if he keeps working hard.
“I am going to keep working hard and soon I will be turning professional because my representative is in discussion with a number of clubs overseas let us see how it all ends.”
The tournament in Mauritania must have been a perfect showcase platform for the 19-year-old.
A number of teams in South Africa, Spain and Belgium are interested and incredibly Italian giants AC Milan are also in the race.