The Crested Crane, listed ninth, was named among the best ten promising individuals in women’s football
Fufa’s Deputy CEO Decolas Kiiza has stated Juliet Nalukenge’s Goal.com NXGN 2021 honour will push Uganda’s ambition of becoming the number one nation in Africa.
The Crested Cranes’ starlet was mentioned among the promising talents due to what she has achieved with the team in the Cecafa U17 and Cosafa U17 competitions as well as in the World Cup qualifiers.
“It is a big achievement not only for the player but for women’s football in Uganda as well,” Kiiza told the Fufa website.
“As Fufa, we have the mission of becoming the number one football nation in Africa on and off the pitch and this gives us belief that we are on the right path.”
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On her part, Nalukenge said the honour will act as a great source of motivation as she chases her dream.
“I’m thankful and happy for this award. It is a big honour to be recognised globally and I’m optimistic that this will motivate me to even work harder,” the senior form six student at Kawempe Muslim secondary school said.
Nalukenge’s efforts were key when Uganda won the Cecafa U17 competition in 2019 in Jinja and also in the Cosafa Girls championship – where she made her debut in 2018 – when the starlet scored 18 goals in just five games.
Nalukenge won the 2019 Uganda Women’s Footballer of the Year award, is already capped at senior level and harbours her own dreams of playing professionally in Europe.
“Winning the Fufa Women’s Player of the Year was a huge thing for me. There are other girls who had equally successful seasons and to be chosen as the best meant a lot for me especially at my age,” she said then .
She was also key as the Crested Cranes continued with the pursuit for Women’s World Cup qualification, where they were scheduled to play Cameroon in the final round before it was cancelled.
She was also the top scorer in the junior World Cup qualifiers as she had already scored five goals in four games.
Maika Hamano, 10th on the list of honour, Haley Bugeja of Sassuolo in eighth, Brighton’s Maya Le Tissier who is seventh and sixth-placed Mary Folwer of Montpellier and Australia, are among the promising starlets listed with the Ugandan.
Lyon’s target Melchie Dumornay, Alexis Missimo of USA, Mexican Alison Gonzalez, former Ajax starlet Nikita Tromp and Sweden’s Hanna Bennison are fifth, fourth, third, second and first, respectively on the list.