Michael Olunga won the 2015 Kenya Player of the year. In his speech, Olunga thanked his mother first and foremost followed by his team-mates, coaches and fans.
“I’m grateful to my family especially my mother, brothers, sisters, teammates and coaches John Kamau, Robert Matano and Frank Nuttall.”
“I wish to thank the entire team in a special way for I was able to embark on a record breaking season. I also thank the fans for supporting and believing in me,” said Olunga.
“For my coach Frank Nuttal,” he added, “I thank him for the wisdom and guidance. He handed me a great role in the team that has built me to the extent of being noticed everywhere we play.”
“Also can’t forget Harambee Stars Bobby Williamson for believing in me despite the many challenges we passed through.”
Olunga becomes the second Gor Mahia player to win the award after George Odhiambo “Blackberry” won in 2010. He narrowly beat team-mate Karim Nizigiyimana.
Karim Nizigiyimana: 2015 Defender of the year
Burundian ace Karim Nizigiyimana was voted the defender of the year, beating team-mate Musa Mohamed and Godfrey Kokoyo of Ulinzi. Nizigiyimana is a solid defender. He is good at overlapping. He times he forward surges very well, creates space for himself and sends the most accurate crosses of any Gor Mahia player since Sammy Onyango “Jogoo” in the 1980s. His forward surges and crosses directly created 17 goals. Thus he has been dubbed the assister in chief with 17 assists. But they also created numerous goals indirectly. Yet Nizigiyimana despite his forward runs, always had the wherewithal to track back and solidify his defensive position.
Nizigiyimana was elated at being voted as defender of the year.
It is unbelievable. I didn’t imagine I would win any award on my first season here, but after a good year my efforts have been rewarded. I am more than happy to have helped my team retain the title with an unbeaten record,” said Nizigiyimana.
But the defender was quick to thank assistant coach Frank Ouna for scouting him during last year’s Cecafa Kagame Cup.
“But my sincere appreciation goes to coach Ouna who spotted me and brought me to this mighty club. Frankly speaking, I wouldn’t have achieved all this without his support. I also thank my team-mates, the management and fans for their support in different ways,” said Nizigiyimana upon receiving the award.
Aucho accuses voters of bias
Khalid Aucho was the first runner up in the midfielder of the year award. The winner was Eric Johana of Mathare. Aucho thinks he was not given the award because he is Ugandan. A similar fate befell Geoffrey Kizito last season.
“I think it is because I am a Ugandan, suppose it was not so, I could have won the award. It was the best midfielder category and they claim I missed because I got many yellows, but it was not an award for the most disciplined player,” Aucho told Goal.
“I feel so bad, it demoralizes me and for sure it hurts, but it is Kenya, and we know. I knew the battle was between me and (Bernard) Mang’oli, and when I was called as the first runners-up I was like, ‘the winner must be from heaven.’
“How did (Meddie) Kagere miss out from the list? Even the fans are wondering what went wrong. It is very disappointing and frustrating. I however, thank the winner, Erick Johanna, and congratulate him from my heart.” said Aucho to goal.com
Bernard Mangoli was the second runner up. He was one of the few bright spots for Ingwe this season.