As is the case each year, Gor Mahia has the most nominations in the annual Footballer of the year awards. Gor Mahia has players in each category: Musa Mohammed, Michael Olunga, defenders Karim Nizigiyimana and Harun Shakava, Meddie Kagere, Khalid Aucho, Collins Okoth as well as goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch are all in the run in for top accolades in the preliminary list that has eight players in every category.
The topmost category is the mopst valuable player award that comes with a Ksh 1 million prize. Michael Olunga and Karim Nizigiyimana have been nominated. They will battle it out with Jesse Were (Tusker), David King’atua (Bandari), Bernard Mang’oli (AFC Leopards) and Gambian striker Ebrimma Sanneh (Nairobi City Stars).
It is refreshing to note that Nizigiyimana is a defender yet his performance have been noted. Aside from being a solid defender, the Burundian has been a key component of Gor Mahia’s fluid record setting attack. He leads the club in assists and likely leads the league. His inch perfect crosses are reminiscent of the legendary Sammy Onyango “Jogoo”.
Michael Olunga may be second in the KPL scorers chart. But he has scored more goals in all competitions than anyone else. This includes superb performances for the national team (U23 and senior team).
Previous winners of the award were George Odhiambo “Blackberry” in 2010 and Dan Sserunkuma in 2012. Last season, most observers thought Gor Mahia midfielder Geoffrey Kizito deserved the award but he inexplicably lost to Ekaliani Ndolo of Sofapaka.
Coach Frank Nuttall has been nominated for the coach of the year award. This is an award he should win with no difficultly considering that he has taken the club through an entire season without losing. Tactically, Nuttall has been brilliant; Adapting his tactics to the present situation and creating a dynamic offense that scored 60 goals in the league. Zdravko Logarusic was the last Gor Mahia coach to win. That was in 2012.
Full List of Nominees
Goalkeeper of the year: Boniface Oluoch (Gor
Mahia), Jairus Adira (Chemelil Sugar), James
Saruni (Ulinzi Stars), Farouk Shikhalo
(Muhoroni Youth), Wilson Obungu (Bandari),
Allan Owiny (Sony Sugar), Gabriel Andika
(Western Stima), David Okello (Sokapaka).
Defender of the year; Musa Mohammed, Harun
Shakava, Karim Nzigiyimana (Gor Mahia), Noah
Abich (Mathare United), Eugene Asike (Tusker
FC), Edwin Wafula (AFC Leopards), Collins
Shivachi (Sofapaka), Shariff Mohammed
Midfielder of the year; Khalid Aucho, Collins
Okoth (Gor Mahia), Bernard Mang’oli (AFC
Leopards), Eric Johannah (Mathare United),
Kevin Amwayi (Ulinzi Stars), David King’atua,
Anthony ‘Muki’ Kimani (Bandari), George
Mandela (Muhoroni Youth)
Most Valuable player; Michael Olunga, Meddie
Kagere, Karim Nizigiyimana (Gor Mahia), Jesse
Were (Tusker), Bernard Mang’oli (AFC
Leopards), John Mark Makwatta (Ulinzi Stars),
David King’atua (Bandari), Ebrimmah Sanneh
Coach of the year; Frank Nuttal (Gor Mahia),
Henry Omino (Western Stima), Paul Nkata
(Muhoroni Youth), Robert Matano (Ulinzi Stars),
Twahir Muhiddin (Bandari), Ken Kenyatta
(Ushuru), Zdravko Logarusic (AFC Leopards),
Stanley Okumbi (Mathare United)