Football

FKF Premier League’s best performers to be feted tonight

The best performers from the just concluded Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League season will be feted on Tuesday night during an awards ceremony set to be staged at a Nairobi hotel.

League champions Tusker FC are hugely represented in the final list of nominees especially after their brilliant performances throughout the season.

Captain Eugene Asike leads the hunt for the Most Valuable Player and Defender of the Year award. Asike has been consistent for the brewers playing in all but four matches of the entire season across all competitions.

Asike played 30 matches in the league, missing only three with injury and was part of the second meanest defense in the league, keeping 10 clean sheets in the process. The defender also had two goals to his name and skippered Tusker to the title.

He is expected to compete for the Most Valuable Player (MVP) accolade with teammate Henry Meja who is set to move to Sweden to join top tier side AIK.

In his first Premier League season, Meja who was signed from lower tier side Lirhembe Arsenal at the beginning of the season scored 12 goals and had four assists for the brewers as they won the Premier League title.

Also nominated for the MVP award is Kariobangi Sharks striker Eric Kapaito who finished up as the golden boot winner with 24 goals. Kapaito who won the MVP award in the 2018 season where he also finished as the top scorer.

He will look to become the first player in KPL awards to win the most coveted title twice.

Eugene Asike celebrating a goal

Also nominated for the MVP gong is Sofapaka midfielder Lawrence Juma who netted 16 goals for his club despite them not being able to finish in the top five. This was Juma’s first season with Batoto ba Mungu after moving from Gor Mahia.

AFC Leopards striker Elvis Rupia who was second in the golden boot chase with 17 goals has also been named in the five-man list for the MVP crown.

Meanwhile, in the defender of the year category, Asike will face a tight battle with KCB’s Nashon Alembi. The latter played 31 matches for KCB this season and was the heart of the league’s meanest defense.

He was part of 16 clean sheets for the bankers and had one assist to his name.

Others listed for the award included debutantes Bidco United’s David Kalama, new Tusker recruit Daniel Sakari who featured for Kariobangi Sharks last season, Johnstone Omurwa of Wazito FC, Kakamega Homeboyz’s Sylvester Owino and City Stars’ Bolton Omwenga who has since moved to Kagera Sugar in Tanzania.

HENRY MEJA join AIK

Tusker’s Henry Meja heads to Sweden to join AIK

Meanwhile, Meja has also been shortlisted for the Young Player of the year where he is highly tipped to win. The youngster will battle out for the award with Gor Mahia’s youthful defender Frank Odhiambo who was a revelation for K’Ogalo in the second leg.

Also listed for the award are two other players who are Tusker bound; Lawrence Luvanda of Vihiga United and Rodgers Ouma of Western Stima.

AFC Leopards’ Lewis Bandi, Sofapaka’s Ambrose Sifuna and Sylvester Owino of Kakamega Homeboyz are also listed.

In the midfielder of the year vategory, Tusker is also ably represented with the evergreen Jackson Macharia. The dreadlocked-midfielder scored nine goals for Tusker this season and was the second highest scorer in the team.

He will battle it out for the award against Sofapaka’s Juma who is highly tipped to carry the day alongside James Mazembe of Kariobangi Sharks, now with KCB, Shami Kibwana of Kakamega Homeboyz, now with Tusker FC, Kevin Kimani of Wazito and Brian ‘Rio’ Ochieng of KCB.

Tusker FC head coach Robert Matano

The coach of the year is highly tipped to go to Tusker’s Robert Matano who led the side to their 12th league title, his second with the brewers and third as a coach.

Also contending for the award is KCB’s Zedekiah Otieno. Zico, as he is fondly referred as led the bankers to their best ever finish in the league, coming home second behind Tusker.

Frank Ouna, now with Rwanda’s Musanze FC, has also been nominated after aiding Mathare United to scrape off the strangle of relegation with a strong finish to the season where they won five of their last six games to move off the drop zone.

Also nominated for the crown is Bandari’s Andre Cassa Mbungo, AFC Leopards’ Patrick Aussems and Kariobangi Sharks’ William Muluya.

There will be several other categories in the awards including referee of the year, assistant referee of the year, digital team of the year, team manager of the year as well as the chairman’s award.

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