SINAN RAJUB SENOGA
The 2018-19 FUFA Women Elite League promises an enthralling climax with a star-studded play-offs cast featuring the top best four performing teams of the concluded regular season.
Debutants Lady Doves, Farida Bulega’s Kampala Queens and UCU Lady Cardinals have a daunting task of dethroning the indomitable holders Kawempe Muslim who have won all the four editions held since inception in February 2015.
With the play off semi finals slated for Thursday 30th May at the StarTimes stadium, Lugogo, We dissect through six key talking points Women football enthusiasts should look out for.
1. Play-off Appearances
Unlike the other three teams, Lady Doves will be making their maiden appearance in the FWEL play offs having gained promotion at the same time of the season. The Masindi based club became the second league debutants to reach the final four since Uganda Martyrs Rubaga in 2017.
Kawempe Muslim will be making their fifth consecutive play off appearance while UCU Lady Cardinals and Kampala Queens are appearing for the third and second time respectively.
UCU’s last appearance came in 2017 whereas Kampala Queens finished fourth last season.
2. Kawempe’s Recent Abysmal display
Ayub Khalifa the Kawempe coach and his immediate deputy Moses Nkata have the onus to up lift the spirit and form of their charges at the right time if at all they stand a chance to smile to yet another championship. The school side also christened “the Warriors” have lost all their recent three games with a similar scoreline of 1-0 to Lady Doves, She Corporates and Asubo-Gafford Ladies.
Kawempe celebrate one of their goals scored in the regular season
The club’s leading scorers Juliet Nalukenge (10 goals) and Anita Namata (5 goals) should find their scoring shoes at the the time it matters most. The two had an enviable partnership in the first round but Namata has since then shied away from her new scoring role.
3. Bulega, Mbekeka renew acquaintances
Female tacticians Farida Bulega and Oliver Mbekeka will once again face off as Kampala Queens lock horns with Lady Doves in the second semi final to be played at 4:00pm. The two ladies work together on the national team “Crested Cranes” with the former acting as the head coach while Mbekeka doubles as the team’s trainer.
The two already faced each other in the FUFA Women’s Cup in March and Mbekeka comprehensively edged her counterpart.
Mbekeka and Bulega exchange notes (Fufa Media)
4. Kampala Queens vs Lady Doves – The Grudge Match
Whilst Mbekeka and Bulega face off again, Kampala Queens will be aiming for vengeance against a side that bundled them out of the Women’s Cup with a 3-0 drubbing.
The Lady Doves however come into the encounter as the only side yet to taste defeat thus far. They boast of the third meanest defense that has conceded only eight goals. Defensive kingpin Gladys Nakitto and forward Grace Winnie Babirye will be facing a side they led to a maiden play off appearance last season.
Kampala Queens have scored the highest number of goals (31 goals) than any other side this season.
5. UCU keen to honor fallen coach
Winning the FWEL title would be the best send off UCU Lady Cardinals could ever give to their fallen coach Frank Peter Sebulime. Sebulime led the University side to last season’s FUFA Women’s Cup triumph in Kabwohe but agonizingly passed on a fortnight ago due to kidney failure.
However, the Mukono based institution will have to fight tooth and nail to overcome Kawempe Muslim, a side that has specialized in beating them with comprehensive scorelines including a 4-0 in the 2017 final and a 3-1 in this year’s FUFA Women’s Cup round of 32 among others.
UCU’s solitary win over the school side came in last year’s Independence Day Cup at Kazo grounds, a 5-4 in spot kicks after goalless stalemate in normal time.
6. Lady Doves chasing a rare double
Lady Doves stand a chance to clinch the first ever double in the Women’s football. Mbekeka’s coached team have already booked a berth in the final of this year’s FUFA Women’s Cup where they will be facing Makerere University but with a favourites tag on their name.
Lady Doves will play against She Mak in the FUFA Women’s Cup final (Lady Doves Media
Will the exuberant debutants continue to grind results and write history? Well that remains a mystery.
Can Kawempe successfully defend their title? Will UCU burry their hodoo against the holders? Farida Bulega has continuously stated that her team’s target is mere bettering last year’s finish but ideally putting pressure off her girls. Can the Eng. Moses Magogo owned entity harvest fruits from their shrewd transfer business?
All those are questions to be answered by Sunday when the final of this season’s Elite League is held.
• Kawempe Muslim vs UCU Lady Cardinals – 2pm
• Kampala Queens vs Lady Doves – 4:00pm
• 2nd June