Catherine Nagadya scored a late winner for her side Uganda Martyrs against UCU on Sunday. PHOTO/ JOHN BATANUDDE

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Martyrs lost experience but raring to go

What you need to know:

Kaidu will be back in goal but she has to work with a new defence as Halima Kanyago is expected to move to UCU while midfield screen Esther Naluyimba is already settled at She Corporate.

Uganda Martyrs High School (UMHS) Lubaga might be the only side that starts the 2022/23 season with a change in the dugout.

Edward Ssozi, who was coaching the boys' school team, has been handed the reigns following Rogers Nkugwa's departure towards the end of last season.

Coaches that come from the men's game to the women's have previously been frowned upon but there is limited evidence to show that they struggle to get by. 

Kampala Queens brought in Hamza Lutalo early this year and he finished second in the 2022 season. George Lutalo also came to the national team Crested Cranes in 2021 and them team to the first Africa Women's Cup of Nations since 2000 and also won the Cecafa Women Championship for the first time.

Charles Ayiekoh, working as Hassan Isa's equal, just guided She Corporate to the Caf Women's Champions League zonal qualifiers' final in Tanzania.

"He (Ssozi) knows the players and has been working with our (women's) technical team in the past," UMHS chief executive officer John Baptist Ssemujju, told Daily Monitor as he insisted the new coach will still have them competitive.

Ssozi has a serious job on his hands but Ssemujju has eased the pressure by terming the upcoming season as "a period of reconstruction."

Sort the defence 

UMHS were the top scoring side last season with 32 goals and were in the title race until the final two games of the season.

Unfortunately, they leaked a lot - by the season's standards - at the back conceding 21 goals; that was nine more than champions She Corporate and eight more than Kampala Queens.

Even Olila High (15) and Uganda Christian University (18) who finished just below them plus Tooro Queens (18) and She Maroons (20), who were eventually relegated for drawing one game too many, conceded less.

At the start of the season, teams exploited the inexperience and 'height' of Martyrs keeper Sharon Kaidu but in the second half of the season, the side signed free agent Daisy Nakaziro to put up a fight in the title run in.

But Nakaziro's lack of match fitness showed in some games. Unfortunately, she has now moved to Kampala Queens after a commendable return to form with the national team at Cecafa and Awcon.

Kaidu will be back in goal but she has to work with a new defence as Halima Kanyago is expected to move to UCU while midfield screen Esther Naluyimba is already settled at She Corporate.

Upfront, UMHS is awash with options and have so far managed to fend off interest for their players bar the most experienced Anita Namata, whose move to She Corporate ahead of the zonal qualifiers last month was just a bus stop en route to Kenyan giants Vihiga Queens.

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