Phiona Nabbumba played an integral role as She Corporate FC emerged Champions of the FUFA Women Super League. The attacking midfielder scored five goals and registered seven assists.
Her brilliant performance did not go unnoticed and was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2021/22 season.
FUFA Media had a one on one chat with Nabbumba who is currently in camp with Crested Cranes at FUFA Technical Centre, Njeru to talk about her performance and ambitions.
FUFA Media: First all Congratulations upon winning the League. You must be a proud player at the moment?
Nabbumba: Thank you. Indeed I’m really proud and it is an achievement worth celebrating. Everyone at the club is happy and it was a dream come true for most of us who were winning the League for the first time.
FUFA Media: Take us through the journey of winning the League, how easy or how hard was it for you to clinch the Championship?
Nabbumba: It was a tough campaign considering that we won the League on the last day. But we were braved for this and everyone right showed great character to overcome any challenge that came across. It is that determination that helped us to eventually emerge Champions.
FUFA Media: The final days must have come with immense pressure and tension. What was the feeling in the She Corporate camp. Did you keep believing that you would go ahead to win?
Nabbumba: It was intense (she says with a faint smile). We knew what was at stake and the management worked hard to ease on the pressure. I remember when we lost 5-0 to Lady Doves, our hopes were dampened but they prepared our minds and made sure we kept that mental fortitude to face every situation. In the end we all worked as one unit that explains the belief we had in the final days of the season.
FUFA Media: About the last game of the season, there was a lot of hype and the fans came in big numbers. What went through your mind as players moreso that the game was at home?
Nabbumba: We didn’t allow that pressure to get to our minds. We knew what was at stake and because we were playing at home, that even gave us an added advantage. Additionally, a point was enough for us, meaning they (Kampala Queens) wanted it more.
FUFA Media: Still about that game, there was a goal for Kampala Queens that was cancelled. Do you recall what went through your mind before you confirmed it had been ruled out for offside?
Nabbumba: My eyes first went to the assistant Referee and I saw her flag up already. So when the goal was cancelled, I was not surprised. But in case it counted, I think that would require us to work more and look for the equalizer.
FUFA Media: Finally, the Championship is wrapped but there are individual awards to be given out. Did you see the MVP award coming to you or it was a surprise?
Nabbumba: I will not say it was not a surprise because my performance was evident. I know there were other players that performed well but on an individual level, I was consistent , scoring goals and assisting on many occasions. I dedicate this accolade to my mum who has been part of my career from the start and always encouraged me to carry-on. I can’t forget my teammates because we achieved this collectively.
FUFA Media: You had an incredible run in the League this season, scoring five goals and seven assists. What would you attribute this performance to?
Nabbumba: Hardwork. I think when the club set the target at winning the League this season, we all worked towards that and you can clearly see that everyone on the team improved from the previous seasons. Personally, I trained hard and set my targets in terms of goals and assists. I’m glad that I contributed directly to almost half of the goals w scored.
FUFA Media: Winning the League comes with a ticket to CAF Champions League Qualifiers. How far would you do want she Corporate FC to go?
Nabbumba: Our target is to go there and perform well. If we put in our best then definitely the sky will be limit for us.
FUFA Media: And you are currently part of the National Team, what are you targets as the Crested Cranes prepare for CECAFA Senior Women’s Championship and TotalEnergies Women Africa Cup of Nations?
Nabbumba: First, I’m happy to be part of the set up but I must work hard to impress the coaches. Our target as a team is win the CECAFA Senior Women Championship and then go to AWCON motivated.
FUFA Media: Finally, what aspirations/targets do you have as a player?
Nabbumba: The immediate target is to keep performing well and getting better. In the long run, I dream of playing in the professional ranks.