The year 2019 has been a Cinderella tale for women football in the country at all levels, with quite a number of achievements, more participation of teams in different levels and of course new stars in the game.
The-SportsNation’s Bagala Peace Diane takes you down the memory lane for what been an extremely busy year.
*Dominant Kawempe Muslim School
At the schools level, Kawempe Muslims roared once again; winning both the National post primaries and FEASSA girls football tournaments with a very young squad, captained by 16-year old Juliet Nalukenge.
*New League Winners
For the first time since inception, new league winners were registered.
Mukono based UCU lady Cardinals taking the bragging rights after defeating newcomers Lady Doves in an epic final played at Lugogo.
Senior players Ruth Arturo and Hasifah Nassuna wrote history as only two of four players to win the league with two different clubs.
Fufa Women Elite league was rebranded from the Fufa Women Super League, making the former the second division tournament in a project dubbed take flight, with aims and objectives so much developmental to women football, incase implemented.
*Senninde Cup Extends Grip
In its fourth edition, the Senninde Women development cup gained more momentum as it stretchesld to the rural areas of the country.
Hosted at Kakyeeka stadium in mbarara, the tournament attracted regional participants including Tanzania’s Kinondoni who did not only spice up the tourney but also were crowned champions.
*Coach Ayub Storms National Team
For all the time since immemorial, so many questions lingered in the minds of women football lovers and the million dollar questions was why Coach Ayub Khalifa who has been so successful with Kawempe Muslim couldn’t make the cut to technical bench.
The year 2019 saw him being added to Faridah Bulega and Edward Kaziba as second assistant, plus being named U17 head coach and he has not statistically disappointed.
*U17 Rise And Shine
Not so much was achieved by the senior team the Crested Cranes.
Hopes of qualifying to the Olympics 2020 were ended miserably by Ethiopia at Lugogo and the team only managed a bronze medal the Cecafa Women senior Challenge Cup in Tanzania, despite their pedigree.
The U17 represented splendidly winning the two championships involved – the COSAFA and CECAFA tournaments, with Ayub Khalifa on the wheel.
*The Lady Doves On the Scene
Based in Masindi, the emergency of lady doves women football club from scratch shocked the entire football fraternity.
Lady Doves reached all the available finals of FUFA sanctioned tournaments – the Fufa Women Elite league to which they lost to UCU lady cardinals and the women cup which they lost to She Makerere.
Little wonder that their then coach Olive Mbekeka made the final three shortlist of the best women football coach in the country this year, though lost to eventual winner Ayub Khalifa.
*Aisha Ssemambo Retires
The fraternity saw the retirement of long serving female referee Aisha Semambo who officiated the league since it’s inception, while also assistant referee Catherine Nagadya also hanged the badge the same year.
As the two were retiring, rocket speed rising referee Shamillah Nabadda experienced one of her best years in career, officiating more local and continental games than the men.
She officiated at the all Africa games in Morocco, the world University games in Italy, the CECAFA women challenge cup, the Fufa Big league Final and crowned the year elevating to CAF Elite B level in refereeing.
In Loving Memory
UCU lady cardinals lost their coach Peter Ssebulime who died enroute to the playoffs. His death was factor that all players fronted for their fight for the league and indeed branded shirts of the late were worn by club officials on being crowned champions.
Further more, the death of Kawempe Muslim player Rehema Adubango was yet another scar that is still visible to former players.
There were reports of a national team coach molesting young girls as well that made headlines in the year
The Airtel Fufa Awards saw teenager Juliet Nalukenge winning the prestigious award, beating Fauziah Najjemba and Hasifah Nassuna to the gong.