Oliver Mbekeka and Faridah Bulega on national team duty Credit: © Kawowo Sports |
  • FUFA Women Elite League | Championship Playoffs (Semifinals)
  • StarTimes stadium, Lugogo | Thursday, 30th May 2019 | 4:00 PM
  • Kampala Queens Vs Lady Doves
Oliver Mbekeka and Faridah Bulega on national team duty Credit: © Kawowo Sports |

Oliver Mbekeka and Faridah Bulega have so many things in common. Besides being coaches at Kampala Queens and Lady Doves respectively, the two are part of the coaching team at the Crested Cranes with Bulega as head coach while Mbekeka as the fitness trainer.

In addition, the two are former national team players and are the only female coaches currently managing teams in the FUFA Women Elite League.

Mbekaka and Bulega will face off as opponents on Thursday as Kampala Queens take on Lady Doves in the 2018-19 FUFA Women Elite League championship playoffs.

Despite being in different league groups, Kampala Queens and Lady Doves have faced off already this season in the FUFA Women’s Cup where the latter won 3-0.

Thursday’s clash, therefore, will be a renewal of acquaintances for the coaches but as well a chance for either team to reach the final for the first time.

Besides the coaches, two Lady Doves players in defender Gladys Nakitto and Winnie Babirye will be facing their former team.

Kampala Queens topped Elizabeth group on 30 points while Lady Doves finished second in Victoria group with 29 points.

Lady Doves chasing history Not so many clubs gain promotion and challenge for the titles in the same season.

However, Lady Doves seem to be demystifying the trend with a double in their sight.

Already in the final of the 2019 FUFA Women’s Cup where they will play against Makerere University on 8th June 2019, the Masindi based side still have the ambition of winning the league as well.

The last team to feature in the championship playoffs in their first season in the league was Uganda Martyrs High School in 2016-17 and finished as second runners up.

Mbekeka is aware of the record at stake but believes in taking one game at a time.

“It is important that we have reached this far but the journey is still on. We have been able to compete on both ends and the ultimate target would be winning both titles but at the moment, we are not yet at that level, what is before us now is the game against Kampala Queens and that’s where our focus is.”

Winning a double is not a feat achieved by every Tom, Dick, and Harry and it’s only four teams that have managed it in Ugandan football that’s KCCA FC, SC Villa, Express FC and recently Proline FC.

Will Lady Doves set the record as the first women’s team to achieve the feat?

Key Factors to look out for in this contest

Faridah Bulega has done quite a tremendous job at Kampala Queens guiding the team to their second successive appearance in the championship playoffs.

The target, however, this time around is to go all notch higher than the fourth position they settled for last season.

“Our target this season was to return to the playoffs and reach the final. If the trophy comes, that would be a bonus,” Bulega keeps insisting.

Kampala Queens owned by FUFA President Moses Magogo have been the most efficient team on the attack scoring 31 goals in the regular season.

Players like Zaina Namuleme, Meble Kusasira, Lilian Mutuuzo, and Resty Nanziri have been the go-to players in as far as searching for goals is concerned.

However, they come up against a team that has been mean in their defence conceding just eight goals making them the third-best backline in the league behind Kawempe Muslim and Olila High School who conceded four and seven goals respectively.

Franklin Kaweru is the Editor in Chief of Kawowo Sports. He is an ardent basketball enthusiast.

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