By Brian Bariyo Tumuramye
Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) forward Allan Okello and Kawempe Muslim’s Juliet Nalukenge, runners up in 2018 beat teammate Mustafa Kizza and Proline’s Bright Anukani to be crowned the best footballers of 2019.
This was confirmed on Saturday, December 15, 2019 at the Federation Of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) awards ceremony, which was held at Speke Resort, Munyonyo.
This came as no surprise to many since Okello has become a darling of sorts in the country and on top of that, won several trophies with his Club in 2019.
Okello and KCCA FC won the Uganda Premier League, CECAFA Kagame Cup and the FUFA Super Cup. Ontop of that, Okello broke into the National Team-Cranes, making his debut in the 2-0 victory over Malawi last month and winning the award, he becomes only the fifth ever recipient of it.
The others to have won it are Miya Farouk (2015), Muhammad Shaban (2016), Muzamir Mutyaba (2017) and Moses Waiswa (2018).
In his speech after award Okello said,“Last year (2018), I was here and finished second. This year, I am a winner. My brothers Mustafa and Bright, I also congratulate you for making the final short list. I thank all my coaches right from my academy coach in Lira (coach Bob), coach Abdallah Mubiru (who coached me at Kibuli and took me to KCCA), coach Mike Mutebi who believed in us.”
At the same awards, Kawempe Moslem FC striker Juliet Nalukenge was named the Female Footballer of the Year,Just like Okello, Nalukenge was the popular choice after the country fell in love with her this year.
She is captain of the National Girls U17 side and helped them win the 2019 COSAFA U17 tournament. She is also currently leading the team at the ongoing CECAFA U17 Girls Cup in Njeru.
To win the award, Nalukenge beat Kampala Queens’ Fauzia Najjemba and Hassifah Nassuna of UCU Lady Cardinals. She also becomes the ficth recipient of the award.
“I am very happy to have won this award. I thank my coach (Ayub), my teammates, my sister Lillian and everyone who pushed me all the way” Nalukenge stated in her speech
Both Okello and Nalukenge were given brand new cars as official prizes.
All Winners (2019):
Airtel Male Footballer of the Year: Allan Okello (KCCA & Uganda Cranes)
Airtel Female Footballer of the Year: Juliet Nalukenge (Kawempe Muslim & Crested Cranes, Uganda U-17 National Team)
Airtel – FUFA Fans Team of the year: Acholi Province
Airtel – FUFA Beach Soccer Player of the Year: Sulaiman Ochero (St Lawrence University & Uganda Sand Cranes)
Airtel – FUFA Member Association of the Year: Uganda Beach Soccer Association (UBSA)
Airtel – FUFA Fans Favourite Foreign based player of the Year: Abdul Lumala (Pyramids, Egypt & Uganda Cranes)
Airtel – FUFA Upcoming Talent of the Year: Gavin Kizito Mugweri (SC Villa & Uganda U-20 National Team)
Airtel – FUFA Best Squad (Team): Team of 1978
Airtel – FUFA Fair Play Award: Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Football Club
Airtel – FUFA Women Football Coach of the Year: Ayub Khalifa (Kawempe Muslim Women Football Club head coach, Assistant coach Crested Cranes, Head coach Uganda U-17 Women Team)
Airtel – FUFA Male Football Coach of the Year: Shafiq Bisaso (Former Proline Head Coach)
Airtel – Male Best XI: Joel Mutakubwa (GK), Paul Willa, Mustafa Kizza, John Revita, Halid Lwaliwa, Allan Kayiwa, Allan Okello, Shafiq Kagimu, Viane Ssekajugo, Mike Mutyaba, Bright Anukani
Airtel – Female Best XI: Daisy Nakazkiro (GK), Florence Naziz, Shadia Nankya, Marion Amangat, Viola Namuddu, Rita Nabbosa, Phiona Nabbumba, Fauzia Najjemba, Mauren Kinavudori, Juliet Nalukenge, Nassuna Hasifa