Gor Mahia’s Michael Olunga is the favorite to land the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award during the 2015 KPL/SJAK Footballer of the Year Awards. The 19-year old is among eight players nominated by Sports Journalists and KPL coaches in the MVP category which will guarantee the winner Ksh1 million and a 42 inch LG TV.
Olunga will face stiff competition from teammates Meddie Kagere and Karim Nzigiyimana as well as Kenyan Premier League top scorer Jesse Were of Tusker FC and four others for the biggest cash award ever given in Kenya’s sporting arena. With contribution in the national team also being factored in, the Gor Mahia forward has a slight advantage over his competitors as he has become Harambee Stars’ leading man in front.
Other players in the running for the MVP honours are Bandari’s David King’atua, AFC Leopards midfielder Bernard Mangoli, Nairobi City Stars hit man Ebrimah Sanneh and Ulinzi Stars’ John Mark Makwata.
The eight were whittled down from a wider list of 34 players nominated by 15 KPL coaches and sports journalists. The number is expected to be reduced to five early December before the FOYA gala slated for 9th December reveals the eventual winner. Runners up and second runners up in the MVP category have been abolished.
The race for golden boot and golden glove award will be based on the highest number of goals scored and the number of clean sheets kept by goalkeepers. Both awards attract a cash award of Ksh500,000 and 42 inch LG television screens.
Dead ball specialist Noah Abich of Mathare United leads the chase for best defenders in a cut throat competition that settled on ten nominees unlike other categories. Abich will vie for the gong alongside Bandari’s Mohamed Sharrif, Musa Mohamed, Haroun Shakava and Karim Nzigiyimana of Gor Mahia, Eugene Asike of Tusker, Edwin Wafula of AFC Leopards and Collins Shivachi of Sofapaka, Ulinzi Stars’ Geoffrey Kokoyo and Kapilima Kanamuli of Ushuru FC. The eight emerged from a list of 31 proposed by coaches and writers.
The midfield contest had 33 players proposed but Bandari duo David Kingatua and Anthony Kimani led AFC Leopards’ Bernard Mangoli, Khalid Aucho and Collins Okoth of Gor Mahia into the shortlist. Also in contention are Eric Johanna of Mathare United, Kevin Amwayi of Ulinzi Stars and Muhoroni Youth’s George Mandela.
Gor Mahia tactician Frank Nuttal will battle fiery Ulinzi Stars coach Robert Matano, soft spoken Bandari FC coach Twahir Muhudin, Muhoroni’s Paul Nkata and four others for coach of the year award. Other in the running are Ushuru’s Ken Kenyatta, AFC Leopards’ AWOL coach Zdravko Logarusic, Western Stima’s Henry Omino and Stanley Okumbi of Mathare United.
The Young/New player of the year will this season be reserved for players under the age of 23 making debuts in KPL. Industrious Mathare United midfielder Alphonce Ndonye led Western Stima’s Eston Esiye, Ebrimah Sanneh of City Stars, Muhoroni’s George Mandela, Bandari’s Farid Mohamed, Paul Michika of Muhoroni Youth, Louis Masika and Samuel Wailer of City Stars into the shortlist.
Most Valuable Player: Michael Olunga, Meddie Kagere, Karim Nzigiyimana – Gor Mahia, Jesse Were – Tusker, David Kingatua – Bandari, Bernard Mangoli – AFC Leopards, John Makwata – Ulinzi Stars, Ebrima Sanneh – City Stars.
Goalkeeper of the Year: Boniface Oluoch – Gor Mahia, Jairus Adira – Chemelil, James Saruni – Ulinzi Stars, Farouk Shikalo – Muhoroni Youth, Wilson Obungu – Bandari, Allan Owiny – Sony, Gabriel Andika – Western Stima, David Okelo – Sofapaka
Defender of the Year: Karim Nzigiyimama, Musa Mohamed, Haroun Shakava – Gor Mahia, Eugene Asike – Tusker, Edwin Wafula – AFC Leopards, Noah Abich – Mathare United, Collins Shivachi – Sofapaka, Mohamed Sharif – Bandari, Geoffrey Kokoyo – Ulinzi Stars, Kapilima Kanamuli -Ushuru.
Midfielder of the Year: Bernard Mang’oli – AFC Leopards, Khalid Aucho, Collins Okoth – Gor Mahia, Eric Johanna – Mathare United, David King’atua – Bandari FC, Kevin Kimani – Bandari, George Mandela – Muhoroni Youth, Kevin Amwayi – Ulinzi Stars.
New Young Player of the Year: Ebrimah Sanneh – City Stars, Eston Esiye – Western Stima, George Mandela – Muhoroni Youth, Alphonce Ndonye – Mathare United, Farid Mohamed – Bandari, Paul Michika – Muhoroni, Louis Masika, Samuel Wailer – City Stars.
Coach of the Year: Frank Nuttall – Gor Mahia, Robert Matano – Ulinzi Stars, Twahir Muhidin – Bandari, Paul Nkata – Muhoroni Youth, Ken Kenyatta – Ushuru, Zdravko Logarusic – AFC Leopards, Stanley Okumbi – Mathare United, Henry Omino – Western Stima.
Fair Play Player of the Year: John Baraza – Sofapaka, Vincent Nyaberi – Thika nited, Michael Olunga – Gor Mahia, Shaban Kenga – Bandari, Alfred Onyango – Sony Sugar, Humphrey Mieno – Tusker, Gabriel Andika – Western Stima.
New Centre Referee of the Year: Michael Iluve, Judith Muhonja, Raymond Onyango, Juma Turke, Duncan Mudaki.
New Assistant referee of the Year: Stephen Adeya, Eric Sadera, Richard Keya, Judy Wamoro, Michael Maru, Gabriel Abidha, Beth Wambui, George Mwangi.
Team Manager of the Year: William Muluya – Mathare United, Jolawi Obondo – Gor Mahia, Nevile Pudo – City Stars, David Mwangi – Ulinzi, Moses Jobita – Western Stima, Stock Ouma – Sony Sugar.
Fair Play Team of the Year: Gor Mahia, Western Stima, Bandari, Mathare United, Muhoroni Youth Sony Sugar, AFC Leopards, Ushuru, Tusker.
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