Ugandan Coach Says We Will Beat the Kenya Team

With the CECAFA U-20 development and friendship entering its 6th day, the Ugandan U-20 football team, Anyau Frank, praised his young boys and said he was sure that the trophy will be won by Uganda.

During an interview at the Jejero training center in Asmara on Thursday, the Ugandan coach said his team was more powerful than its rivals in the tourney and he was sure that Uganda will tighten its hold on the title.

The interview with Coach Anyau Frank with NewsBlaze’s Somali Reporter, Shafi’i Mohyaddin Abokar, follows:

Q: Mr. Coach, you have been successful for the past few years and Uganda is currently holding many CECAFA titles including the U-20, U-17 and the Senior Challenge Cup, so this time do you think that you will be able to tighten this title during the ongoing development and friendship tourney here?

A: Thank you very much for calling me a very successful person. Why do I say so, because there is an ambition, when you have something you want to, you work very hard on it, secondly you need to like what you do, because if you like what you are doing, then it is going to come, then thirdly you should have the technical idea of what you are doing, if you have the technical idea then it will come, then fourthly the way you behave in that idea, the way you present your self in what you are doing matters. You are to present your self as a responsible coach, present your self as a father, present your self as a leader, don’t present your self with darkness and don’t present your self a lazy person, then I am sure any one will win good results.

To answer your question directly, I am here to defend this title again. I have three matches to win, two of them I have already won and the third I am sure I will win, then I will go to semifinals. I must win whether in penalties or in the 90 minutes, and in the final match it is too easy for me and my players to achieve by tightening our title. Why do I say this? Because me and my boys are working very hard.

Q: Does this mean that you are very confident in the performance of your boys?

A: Yes, I have full confidence, because these are the boys who have been training since five years ago when I collected them from many different places, also I have U-17 and U-15 who are stronger and talented. Because I work very hard in Uganda going to schools, going through village levels, then promoting and educating them in football, telling them about their future and teaching them high tactics of football matches.

Q: Do you mean that you have been teaching these boys for five years and had them undergo daily training sessions?

A: In Uganda, we have academies, when you are a good coach, when you are a good father at the house you have to lobby, look, see, watch and observe every where and look for the players who have talent, look for the players who are capable and look for the players who are physically fit and may have a good future in football, but not just sit and wait for people to come to you at home.

Q: Now you are leading this tournament with six points and six goals and I understand that hot teams including the host Eritrea are ahead of you, so do you really think that it will be possible for you to take such a difficult path?

A: When you are going to become a champion, you have to concentrate on your way forward, you have to give confidence to your players and supporters, but don’t look at another opponent, because if you look at another opponent you become a coward and will win nothing.

So know that not every country who hosts the world cup wins, not every country who hosts European champion league wins, not every country who hosts the Cup of Nations wins and also not every country who hosts CECAFA tournament wins it. As Ugandans, we have won this cup many times outside our home and now everybody looks at us and sees we are working very hard to defeat every one who comes against us.

Q: Mr. Coach, many fans in this region describe Uganda as the frontrunner of the CECAFA region in terms of football. Do you believe this yourself?

A: Yes I do, because we have won the CECAFA tournament several times, more than any other country, and we are yet to fall at home or away so I am telling you (with a loud voice!) that today we are here to win.

Q: There are more big teams in this tournament, like Kenya and the Kenyan coach whom I interviewed earlier was him self very hopeful of winning this competition – so are you sure that you can kick Kenya out of the tourney?

A: First of all Kenya, they have not qualified from their group and if they come to us, it is very good and we are delighted to beat them, because we are here to defend the U-20 cup which we are currently holding.

Q: In the last game you have had against Yemen, your players performed well and they defeated Yemen by 3-2, but mostly in the second half of that game. Yemen seemed to be controlling the whole field so how did you manage to win?

A: Yemen first led us, but then we made more of an effort, equalized and then defeated them by three goals to two. And this means they were not controlling the whole field – we are very dangerous indeed – and we crash every one who tries to compete with us.

Q: There are some speculations which say that most of your boys play in the 1st division leagues in Uganda and in other countries there are more players who have never played in Division A, so can we say this is helping you more than any other team in the tournament?

A: It is not an accusation for Uganda to have players who have played in the first division leagues, because you can join any division while you are young and talented, so it is up to every federation to establish development programs for the youths in academies, in schools and every where possible, then they will also have many young boys who can play in the first division leagues and can represent their nations. It is not a problem for Uganda to have young people who play in the 1st division leagues. For us we start football early in every family, and children are taught football while they are very young and my advice to every country is to allow children to join academies while they are very young.

Q: This tournament used to be named {the CECAFA U-20) and now it is being called CECAFA U-20 FOR FRIENDHSIP AND DEVELOPMENT, so what means does it have for CECAFA and the whole region?

A: Yes, because that is why we say football is a social game that brings people who do not know each other together, because without this tournament you would not have known me and I would not have known you too. And that is why I don’t encourage my boys to kick any body’s legs while playing – we should have friendship and fair games, because here we came for friendship, so that we avoid wars, we avoid problems, we avoid non-development, so, yes, we should come together and have development, public integration and promote friendship among peoples in the CECAFA region.

Q: Once and for all how did you find your stay in Asmara?

A: Asmara is a very good town and it is one of the best cities I have ever travelled, the people of Asmara have given us great hospitality and every minute they enjoy football and support any team that is performing well like mine. Asmara is very peaceful, people here are stepping into more development day by day, there is political stability which allowed the CECAFA to hold its tournament here and organize the women’s tournament next year, and I hope that Asmara will once host the senior challenge cup also. However Asamra changes every minute.

Shafi'i Mohyaddin Abokar

Shafi’i Mohyaddin Abokar is the NewsBlaze Somalia reporter. Shafi’i has extensive experience in journalism, international relations, and football management. He is the founder of Somali Sports Press Association, a long-time sports journalist and a member of the International Sports Press Association.

Shafi’i has a Master’s Degree in international Relations obtained at De Montfort University in Leicester and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Multimedia journalism from the University of Northampton. The photo shows Shafi’i in action while at CAF Centre of Excellence in Cameroon.