Three of the most dominant names in the constricted 2018/19 SportPesa Premier League season Francis Kahata, Enos Ochieng and Joash Onyango are in a tight-looking race to land the Most Valuable Player gong in tonight’s LG/SJAK Football Awards Gala.
At stake for the most valuable player in the event set to take place at the Nairobi National Museum is Sh1 million and a 55-inch LG Smart television set in addition to personalised trophy and 12 months of bragging rights.
Kahata is also in the running for the midfielder of the year gong while Onyango is gunning for best defender award. While the Gor duo are uncertain of topping their categories, Ochieng, who plays for Ulinzi Stars, is already assured of the Golden Boot, having scored 20 goals to top the charts last season.
Each category winner will pocket Sh250,000 while second and third-placed finishers take home Sh150,000 and Sh100,000 respectively in addition to a fridge and microwave from the South Korean electronics manufacturing giants.
In total, Sh4 million will be shared among the finalists in the various categories.
“There is a lot of potential in local sports and partnering with SJAK has been part of our CSR initiative aimed at rewarding sporting talent in Kenya. I would love to urge other corporates locally to come on board and promote the youth not only in football but in various sports in the country,” said Maureen Kemunto of LG Electronics.
Newly-signed Bandari goalkeeper Justin Ndikumana will battle for the golden glove award with ex-Bandari custodian Faruk Shikalo, who has since decamped to Yanga of Tanzania. Also shortlisted in the category is Samuel Odhiambo of Western Stima.
The golden glove is awarded to player with the most clean sheets but Ndikumana and Shikalo are tied on 13 while Abawa as Odhiambo is fondly referred to, kept 10.
Battling Onyango for defender of the year gong are Bandari’s Brian Otieno and Sony Sugar’s Kelvin Wesonga. Onyango was vastly outstanding in a Gor Mahia defence that conceded just 25 goals in 34 games while.
Former Gor Mahia tactician Hassan Oktay leads in the chase for Coach of The Year award alongside Bernard Mwalala of Bandari and John Baraza of Sofapaka.