Lady Doves players celebrating after dumping out record Champions, Kawempe Muslim

Lady Doves made an instant announcement of their arrival in Women’s Football in Uganda when they won promotion to the top tier League back in 2018. For an upcountry outfit from Masindi District, they shook the high table with each step made.

First, they signed Oliver Mbekeka who is part of the Crested Cranes technical set up as their coach. They also made marquee signings, bringing on board players like Reticia Nabbosa, goalkeeper Daisy Nakaziro, Nuru Nakyanzi and Gladys Nakitto among others.

Lady Doves Masindi director Julius Mugisa hands over a jersey to newly appointed head coach Oliver Mbekeka in 2019 Credit: KAWOWO SPORTS

In their debut season they defied odds and reached the finals of both the FUFA Women Elite League and the FUFA Women’s Cup but unfortunately lost to UCU Lady Cardinals and Makerere University WFC respectively.

Despite failing at the first attempt, the zeal for success portrayed right from the Club Chairman, Julius Mugisa did not shrink. Instead they made more additions with Fazila Ikwaput joining the team at the start of last season which was cancelled due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

Mbekaka was let go of and replaced with John Ongodia, formerly at She Corporate and Olila High School. He did not last the season and the team is currently under the stewardship of Rajab Buyinza and Fred Musiime.

At the start of this season, Lady Doves even when a notch higher, signingTanzanian Midfielder Aziz Zuena Tembeni in a bid to bolster their squad. Upfront, they added Rashida Nankya from Uganda Martyrs to join players like Ikwaput, Joweria Nagadya, Elizabeth Nakigozi and Olivia Babirye.

Fast forward, at the 2021 FUFA Women Super League, Lady Doves have seemed an unstoppable force winning three of their five games with the other against Olila High School ending in a one-all draw and remain the only unbeaten side at the tournament

Lady Doves Games

  • Lady Doves 5-0 Isra Soccer Academy
  • Lady Doves 2-1 UCU Lady Cardinals
  • Olila High School 1-1 Lady Doves
  • She Corporate 0-0 Lady Doves

Playoffs

Lady Doves 1-0 Kawempe Muslim

Going by Team Slogan

Lady Doves tag line is “We believe” and this is manifested almost in everything they do. Coach Rajab Buyinza clearly stated as the team arrived at FUFA Technical Centre that the target is to win the Championship and it is that strong belief that has seen them progress to the final.

They are one of the most funded teams in the League with the Club owner digging deep to sustain the playing, technical and support staff.

The strong belief therefore could be a big factor in helping them to sustain the much desired success as they face UCU Lady Cardinals on Wednesday.

Ikwaput taking the League by storm

With her adeptness, scoring goals would not be a surprise but the manner in which Ikwaput has torn defences aside has been exceptional. Seven goals to her name in five games, leaves her in pole position to take the top scorer’s gong with the chasing park of Allen Nassazi, Hasifa Nassuna and Fauzia Najjemba on three apiece.

She scored four against new comers Isra Soccer Academy to set the tone and literally won the game against UCU Lady Cardinals with a brace.

Centre Referee Anna Akoyi hands over the match ball to Fazila Ikwaput who scored four goals against Isra Soccer Academy (Credit: FUFA Media)

Ikwaput is a go-getter who never rests on her laurels and that hunger for goals as made her a threat for any defence at the tournament.

The nagging knee injury she carries could be a point of bother for Lady Doves and there she is already a doubt for the final on Wednesday.

She was stretchered off at the hour mark in the 1-0 win against Kawempe Muslim and the hope for Lady Doves is that the lethal forward passes a late fitness test.

Nabbosa- Ikwaput Chemistry

If you need to tame Ikwaput, first disable Reticia Nabossa. The two have a great understanding and this has manifested in the games played. When She Corporate cut off supply from Nabbosa, Ikwaput struggled and failed to make any realistic impact.

Fazila Ikwaput (left) and Ritah Nabbosa at Entebbe International Airport in 2018. Credit: © Kawowo Sports | DAVID ISABIRYE

Nabossa who played with Ikwaput at Olila High School and Gokulum Kerala Blasters in India attests to the Chemistry between her and Ikwaput and states it does not end on pitch.

“We are more like twins. We have a perfect understanding even off the pitch and when she got injured in the game against Kawempe Muslim, she whispered to me and told me to carry the team, I ended up scoring.” She said.

Reticia Nabbosa (with the ball) celebrates with teammates after scoring

The duo did well against UCU Lady Cardinals in the group game and should the latter offer room to them, they will definitely have a field day.

Nakaziro steadily captaining the ship

Goalkeeper Daisy Nakaziro

The shot stopper has had a great contribution in Lady Doves reaching the final. On several occasions, she has made game winning saves.

She had standout performances against She Corporate and Olila High School in the group games. Her command at the back offers stability and the ability to read the games makes her the best goalkeeper at the tournament.

As Lady Doves go into Wednesday’s final against UCU Lady Cardinals, they will hope that lightening doesn’t strike twice with the hope of encrypting their name on the list of League winners.

Joel Muyita

Joel Muyita is a senior staff writer at Kawowo Sports.

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