URA FC captain Shafik Kagimu, Express FC star forward Eric Kambale and Vipers trio Yunus Ssentamu, Bobosi Byaruhanga and Aziz Kayondo are on the shortlist for the 2021 Airtel FUFA Award.
The shortlist was revealed on Thursday afternoon in Kampala at a ceremony where Uganda’s Football Association also lined up all the partners that will support the awards this year.
Kagimu was among the final five nominees in 2019, and was voted among the Best XI that year but missed out on the final three-man shortlist.
The midfielder helped take URA to within a point of winning their first title before they eventually lost out to champions Express as the league was cut short due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the country.
Ssentamu had a self-redefining season with Vipers SC after re-joining his childhood club in January 2021 after close to two years without a club.
He scored 16 goals in 21 league games as he topped scoring charts in the StarTimes Uganda Premier League including a brace on his debut for the club against MYDA FC.
While success did not come via the league as the Venoms finished third, however, Ssentamu made history by becoming the first player to score four goals in the Stanbic Uganda Cup final as Vipers demolished BUL Bidco 8-1.
Kayondo and Byaruhanga have both grown in bounds throughout 2021. The two were part of the Uganda U20 squad that reached the final of the U20 Africa Cup of Nations in January in Mauritania.
Byaruhanga followed that with being voted the best midfielder of the 2021 Uganda Cup as well as becoming a regular for the Uganda Cranes playing in all four FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Kayondo has also become a regular with the Uganda Cranes, playing in all the games for the Cranes at the Africa Nations Championship and was named among the best defenders at the U20 AFCON.
Kambale shook off a slow start to the season where he scored only three goals and assisted three goals in the first round of the 2020/21 UPL season to become an integral part as Express lifted their first league title since 2012.
Kambale scored 15 league goals in Express’ triumphant season including scoring 10 goals in the final six games of last season a run that saw him score a hattrick against Kyetume and doubles against Kitara and Onduparaka.
He continued his great form in front of goal finishing as the joint top scorer with three goals including an added time winner against KMKM in the semi-finals as Express secured their first ever CECAFA Kagame Cup title.
The Airtel FUFA Awards that are organised by the football association to celebrate Uganda’s finest football personalities are awarded annually.
The award was not given out in 2020, for the first time since their inception in 2015 because of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
There will be 13 categories that will be rewarded this year with a new category Airtel FUFA Futsal Player of the year introduced for 2021.
The Airtel FUFA Upcoming Talent of the Year which was given out for young players will not be given out this year.
The awards will be given out on December 4, 2021 at the Speke Resort in Munyonyo.