Najib Fesali: Just, how much do you know about Villa's punisher?

Fesali celebrates his goal against SC Villa|Bata Image

Najib Fesali: Just, how much do you know about Villa's punisher?

Allan Damba 12:14 - 29.05.2023

URA FC defender, Najib Fesali's name will long be remembered along the football circles for varying reasons, to the different fan-bases.

Among the Vipers SC circle, he is currently the most adored player from an opposition team, while within the SC Villa boundaries, he certainly is hated to the born.

On the final day of the 2022/23 Uganda Premier League season, the 23 year-old netted URA's sole goal that edged the title-chasing SC Villa at the Muteesa II Stadium, Wankulukuku.

While the goal eased Vipers' charge to a title defence, it on the other hand, sunk Villa's season, as the latter needed a victory to end their 19-year league drought.

The goal had a lot more significance to Vipers and Villa, than URA, who eventually ended the season with 42 points.

Who is Najib Fesali?

The lanky defender is born and raised to Abdul Fesali and Swalha Muhammad of Jinja district, in Eastern Uganda.

He attended Main Street Primary in Jinja before joining Eastern schools giants, Jinja Senior Secondary School.

Fesali then played in the Third Division (Eastern region) for St. Jude FC, played for Kyaggwe Ssaza, before joining URA in 2020. He also played at Gaddafi FC on loan from the Tax Collectors.

URA Career

Fesali made his Uganda Premier League debut with the Taxmen in the 2021/22 season on 02nd November, 2021, in a 3-2 win over Arua Hill SC.

That season, he went on to rack 19 league appearances, managing a goal to his name as well.

He netted in their 1-1 draw with Onduparaka FC at the Greenlight Stadium in December 2021, just over a month since his debut.

Despite being limited by injury setbacks in the recently concluded season, Fesali played 17 times in the league, with his only goal coming at Villa.

Uganda Cranes Call

In 2021, with little known about him, the defender earned a Uganda Cranes summon from head coach Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic ahead of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers with Rwanda.

While he didn't play in the double-header, he made the final 23-man squad, a huge feat for a then 21 year-old.

Fesali with the Cranes at the MTN Omondi Stadium|FUFA Image

Role Model, Strong Foot and former coaches

Fesali, who is predominantly right-footed, is a strong admirer of former Uganda Cranes defender and deputy skipper Hassan Wasswa.

In his 2021 interview with FUFA, he attributed his rise to former coaches, Andy Mwesigwa, Late Mathew Lukya, Abbey Bogere Kikomeko and Charles Ayiekho.