UPDF new Signing Faridi Achumu is hungry for more after his debut goal on the opening weekend of the 2022/23 Uganda Premier League.
Achumu, who joined the Army side from Synergy, handed UPDF a 1-1 draw against Express at the Bombo Military Barracks Ground.
The Youngster came on for another debutant Pius Kaggwa before netting an equaliser for the Army side in the 64th minute after Allan Kayiwa had earlier given the visitors the lead in the 50th minute.
Speaking to The-SportsNation after the match, the former Kansai Plascon Junior team striker admitted that he prayed and worked hard for that moment.
“I personally felt so happy like any other person scoring on my debut because I worked for it and prayed for it fortunately Allah was on my side and thanks goes back to him,” Achumu opened up.
The 18-year old adds that he was nervous since it was his first time in the top flight.
“Since it was my debut you know the pressure was there but as a person I had to overcome it by following the coaches’ and teammates’ instructions then do what I had to do.”
Achumu started his career at Zebra Academy in Kibuli, wants to utilise the opportunities he will be given as well as playing for the national team.
“Like any other player, I personally have my targets to work hard for the team, scoring goals and to play for my country as well as going professional.”
The debutant had a mixed feeling on the result because they wanted to start their season with maximum points in front of their fans.
“I would say I was not that much happy for the result because we wanted all the three points since we were at home in front of our beautiful fans.
“But we plan and God makes the last decision and walking away with a draw we thank him for that than losing the game.”
The goal was important for him since it managed to get them a point: “The goal was important because it was on my debut, secondly I had to make a statement since the coaches believed in me and gave me the opportunity to play.
“It also opened my account as a striker because my primary role is to score goals for the team”.
“Since we were a goal down and it managed to get us atleast a point than being beaten so we shall build on it in the coming games”.
The product of the FUFA Juniors League admits that his relationship with UPDF Head Coach Brian Ssenyondo was the reason he joined the Bombo based side.
“I joined UPDF because of the good relationship I have with the head coach Ssenyondo right from school because he was my coach at Blessed Sacrament Kimanya SS.
“In addition to that, he has given a lot of opportunities to young players and finally his philosophy that gets the best out of the young players.”
Achumu thanked his mother for always being there for him as well as the UPDF FC fraternity for believing in him.
Faridi Rashid Achumu Profile
Born on 24th September 2004 by Mrs Anifa Jamila and Rashid Alichama in Bombo.
Education Background: Visible Love Wabigalo Primary School, Namasuba Umea Primary School, Zana Mixed SSS (S1-S2), Kakungulu Memorial (S3-S4) Blessed Sacrament Kimanya (S5), St Mary’s SS Kitende (S6).
Football Career: Zebra Academy (4th Division), Namasuba Juventus (3rd Division), Sadolin FC (Defunct, FUFA Juniors League, 2nd Division), Katale FC (4th Division), Synergy FC (Futsal Super League), UPDF (Todate).
Role Models: Shaban Muhammad because of his speed & reaction on the ball and Radamel Falcao because of his finish and an eye for the goal.
Best Moments: Joining St Mary’s SS Kitende and winning trophies, Being Top scorer in the Wakiso District Zonal Qualifiers and East Africa in Rwanda in 2018 as well as Scoring first goal for UPDF on his debut.
Worst Moments: Failing to win the Copa Coca Cola Championship with st Mary’s SS Kitende in 2018 and being relegated with Kansai Plascon FC in the FUFA Big League in 2019.
Achievements: Playing all the leagues in Uganda especially in the top flight, completing High School, Winning trophies with St Mary’s SS Kitende, Being the top scorer in different tournaments like Airtel Rising Stars.
Football Dreams: To play for the national team and going to Europe for professional football.