The nomination of Shadia Nankya, Tracy Akiror and Ruth Aturo, to contest for the award of best Ugandan female footballer 2018, was met by a resounding approval compared to the men’s category.
Allan Okello (KCCA FC), Viane Ssekajugo (Onduparaka FC) and Moses Waiswa (Vipers SC) are also in hot pursuit of one of Fufa and Airtel’s two vehicles, to be won this Friday December 7 at Speke Resort Munyonyo.
However, KCCA FC manager Mike Mutebi does not see why Okello cannot win this award, because he feels he was instrumental in their Caf Champions League (CCL) campaign, on top of helping them push for the league and cup double.
KCCA won the Uganda Cup, but missed out on the League championship to Vipers SC. Probably that is where midfielder Waiswa’s winning chances may be boosted. Besides, Waiswa’s performances for The Cranes recently appear to put him in good stead. He was part of the team, that qualified for the 2019 Afcon in November, impressing in midfield.
That said, Ssekajugo inspired Buganda region, to lift the Fufa Drum Cup. While Ssekajugo was not bright in the group stages of this tournament, his six goals were scored from the quarter-final stage.
In the final against West Nile, Ssekajugo scored in the 1-0 first leg win and in the one-all second leg, to cap it all up in style. What is likely to favour Ssekajugo is the fact that Fufa will want to reward someone from a tournament they started this year. It works for Fufa, when the Drum tournament gets more acclaim, at least politically.
Notably, the women’s contest will even be more closer, and fittingly so. Akiror scored in Kawempe Muslim’s 1-0 win over Olila High in the fourth Fufa Women’s Elite League final. Before then, Akiror scored the equalizer and winning penalty in the semi-finals against Kampala Queens.
In addition, Akiror led the Crested Cranes to silver in the women’s Cecafa in Rwanda. As skipper, she scored in a 1-0 win over Zambia during the Cosafa Championship third and fourth place play-off, to help Uganda (guest team) pick a bronze.
Yet, you cannot underestimate Crested Cranes’ defense lynch-pin Nankya. At the Cosafa, she won two man-of-the-match awards against Zambia and Zimbabwe. But goalkeeper Aturo has had a year to savour. Aturo was the best goalkeeper in the Fufa Women’s Cup, the Cecafa and Cosafa tournaments, bringing Uganda huge international acclaim in the women’s football.