2021 FUFA Women Super League Season Preview
- The league will be played in a tournament format
- Ten teams divided into two groups
- Top two from each group progress to the Championship playoff
Uganda Martyrs High School, Lubaga WFC Special
Not so many people expected Uganda Martyrs High School, Lubaga WFC to put up the challenge they managed last season. However, the school side punched above weight and were in contention for the Championship by the time the league was halted in March last year due to the outbreak of COVID-19. They had garnered 13 points in 6 games and had only lost one game (a 2-0 loss to Kawempe Muslim Ladies FC in the season opener).
The departure of captain Shadia Nankya who crossed over to UCU Lady Cardinals seemed to have left a gaping hole that was never going to be filled. She had emerged as the top scorer in the FUFA Women’s Cup in 2019 and meant a lot to the team despite being a defender. With a team largely composed of students and change of the league into a block format, Uganda Martyrs High School looked like a team that would only try to fend off relegation.
However, coach Rogers Nkugwa was able to put up a team in no time and the emergence of Latifa Nakasi who scored six goals in as many games in her debut season made them a threat.
Gloria Namugerwa who took over the captain’s armband offered leadership at the back alongside Winnie Nakanwagi, Halima Kanyago and Patience Nabulobi.
Goalkeeper Daphine Nyayenga, midfielder Kevin Nakachwa and forward Catherine Nagadya who were part of the Uganda U17 National Team set up always provided a different dimension.
Ahead of the new season that gets underway on 19th April, Nkugwa believes his team is ready to challenge for the title.
“I know it is going to be a challenging season given the changes in the playing format and the fact that we have not had active football for more than a year. But my team is in good shape judging from the trial games we have had,” he said.
“The first target is to progress past the group stage. When this is achieved, we can think about winning the league when we reach the playoffs.” Nkugwa added.
The team will miss four key players including Winnie Nakanwagi, Uditer Basemera, Mary Kemigisha and Halima Kanyago who are all sitting for the final Uganda Advanced Certificate Educations(UACE) examinations.
Nkugwa is unfazed with the absence of the aforementioned quartet and believes there are other options to do the job.
“They will not be with us but I’m confident that the squad available will help us to achieve our targets.” Said a confident Nkugwa.
Her experience having played at Kawempe Muslim says a lot. Despite not scoring many goals, she gives a different dimension to the team especially going forward.
Alongside Nagadya and Nakasi, they form a front three that would torment any back line in the league.
Playing from the wing, offers Nakacwa space to operate and ignite attacks. She has the ability to hold onto the ball, run at defenders and as well shoot at goal.
Uganda Martyrs High School play as one unit and their backline have a good cohesion. With the command of captain Namugwera, the backline is their strong point. Always defending resiliently, good understanding and often have an edge in physical duels.
The biggest undoing for Uganda Martyrs is having a small squad in terms of quality. Besides the regular starting eleven, you would be hard pressed to see a player come off the bench and cause significant change. Therefore, if the starting team fails on execution, the coach does not have a fall back plan.