Goalkeeper Derrick Emmanuel Were walked away with the most number of accolades at the Pepsi University Football League Best of the Decade Awards Gala held at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala on Wednesday.
The former Uganda Christian University custodian took home three gongs the most of any other nominee on the day after he was named the Goalkeeper of the Decade, Player of the Decade, and was also named in the Best XI of the Decade.
“It is an amazing feeling for me because it is always exciting when you are recognized,” Were said at the ceremony before adding.
“This is an inspiration to me and the young generation and it shows how developed the University League has become.”
“The University League is a good platform for one to showcase their talent and as an individual, I have gained so much from it and I would like to urge the young ones to embrace it too,” he added.
Were was the captain of the UCU team that won its first University League trophy in 2019 and currently features for StarTimes Uganda Premier League side Soltilo Bright Stars FC.
He noted that he continues to dream of playing for the national team as well as going abroad for professional football.
“I am working hard at my club to ensure that I play game in game out but the long-term target is to one day play for the national team and going pro would also be delightful.”
There were also familiar players among those that were rewarded the likes of former KCCA FC midfielder Yasser Mugerwa.
Mugerwa a former player at Nkumba University was named the Midfielder of the Decade and also in the Best XI of the Decade.
BUL FC defender Douglas Muganga who during his time at the University featured for Nkumba was named the Defender of the Decade.
Blacks Power FC’s Faisal Muwawu who also played for Nkumba was rewarded with the Top scorer of the Decade accolade after he scored 21 goals in four seasons.
Former Maroons FC head coach Charles Ayiekoh is the other familiar individual that was rewarded with the Coach of the Decade award following his time with Makerere University Business School (MUBS).
The University Football League was inaugurated in 2012 when Makerere University won it and 10 years have been marked with Uganda Martyrs University as the champions of 2022.
MUBS, UMU, and Kampala University are the only three institutions that have managed to win it twice apiece.
UCU, Makerere, and Kyambogo have won it once apiece while in 2020 they were not held due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Pepsi University Football League Best of the Decade Awards (2012 – 2022)
Player of the Decade: Derrick Emmanuel Were (UCU)
Goalkeeper of the Decade: Derrick Emmanuel Were (UCU)
Defender of the Decade: Douglas Muganga (Nkumba)
Midfielder of the Decade: Yasser Mugerwa (Nkumba)
Forward of the Decade: Siraje Musindo (MUST)
Coach of the Decade: Charles Ayiekoh (MUBS)
Sports Tutor of the Decade: Joseph Ssekandi (Uganda Martyrs)
Top Scorer of the Decade: Faisal Muwawu (Nkumba)
Team of the Decade: Uganda Martyrs University
Best XI of the Decade: Derrick Were Emmanuel (UCU) (GK), Gift Fred (Bugema University), Ismail Kawawulo (MUBS), Douglas Muganga (Nkumba), Geoffrey Akabwai (Kampala International University), Yasser Mugerwa (Nkumba), Kaye Kizito (UCU), Muzamiru Mutyaba (KU), Douglas Owori (UMU), Siraje Musindo (Mbarara University of Science and Technology), Moses Okot (UMU)