December 9, 2021

AIRTEL FUFA Awards: Lady Doves consolidate two nomination slots

By Edwin Kyle Kule
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Lady Doves Women Football Club continue to dominate women football in Uganda with their latest achievement being the claiming of two slots among the available five at the Airtel FUFA Female Player of the Year nominations.

During the launch ceremony that took place at Malcolm X Hotel, Kololo on Thursday, October 21, 2021, the duo of goalkeeper Daisy Nakaziro and forward Fazila Ikwaput managed to grab two nominations slots.

The other three selections that made the list thanks to their incredible displays include; Kawempe Muslim WFC forward Margret Kunihira, She Maroons WFC’s Joan Naggayi and Kampala Queens FC’s Fauzia Najjemba.

The event will run under the theme, ‘Celebrating Uganda’s Finest Football Personalities,’ and will be held at Speke Resort on December 4, this very year where the winner will walk home with a host of prizes.

How the nominees performed in 2020/21

It is worthy to note that the Lady Doves were the champions of the 2021 FUFA Women Super League, a league that was played in a tournament format thanks to the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic that made preparations hard.

The 2021 league champions conquered the then defending champions UCU Lady Cardinals 2-0 in the final to earn the status and further stretch their wings in the inaugural CECAFA Women qualification tournament for the CAF Women Champions League.

Daisy Nakaziro

Their most reliable custodian and skipper Nakaziro was chosen as the best goalkeeper in the league after conceding only three goals in all the six games played throughout the league tournament.

The former Muteesa I Royal University WFC goalkeeper had earlier guided the Lady Doves to two finals where they lost to both the Lady Cardinals in the most agonizing of ways.

She also won the golden glove in the CECAFA Women Club Championship where she kept three clean sheets in five games to help her team finish third in a tournament that was won by Kenya’s Vihiga Queens WFC.

Fazila Ikwaput

Ikwaput was another strong pillar in the golden mark of this Lady Doves team. The lethal forward scored eight goals in six games including the glorious goal that won the title after coming off the bench.

In the 2021 edition of the league that was held at Njeru Technical Center, Ikwaput put up strong goalscoring displays that saw her be declared the top scorer and Most Valuable Player (MVP) at the tournament.

The forward’s phenomenal performance took the team to CAF Women’s Champions League qualifiers where they fell short of glory by just a whisker.

Other nominees

Fauzia Najjemba

Najjemba is the other favourite for the grand prize. The talented forward faced a rough journey as her side, Kampala Queens WFC failed to get past the group stages in the 2021 league edition.

She has however been a strong pillar in the U20 Women’s National side that eliminated Kenya in the 2022 FIFA Women U20 World Cup qualifiers and currently await a faceoff with South Africa in the next round.

Margaret Kunihira

Kunihira is the only nominee born and bred from Fort portal who saw her side Kawempe Muslim WFC lose 1-0 to the Lady Doves at the semifinals of the FUFA Women Super League earlier this year.

The forward has been outstanding, scoring in both legs as Uganda eliminated Kenya from the World Cup qualifiers. The sensational performance earned herself a place on the Crested Cranes side.

Joan Naggayi

Naggayi, a player with She Maroons WFC climaxes the five-woman list after helping the Luzira based team to the FUFA Women Super League and emerging as the MVP of the Elite League last season.

Meanwhile, the former winners of the accolade are Sandra Nabweteme (2015), Hasifa Nassuuna (2016), Fazila Ikwaput (2017), Ruth Aturo (2018) and most recently Juliet Nalukenge (2019).

The Award was not given in 2020 due to the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic which got a number of sporting activities on a standstill.

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