NAIROBI, November 10 – Nairobi City Stars forward Jimmy Bagaye has been named Sports Journalists Association of Kenya/SportPesa Player of the Month for October.
The Ugandan played a major role to help the Kawangware based side survive relegation from the top-flight league for the third season in a row after striking twice to lift his side from the drop zone for the first time this term.
Bagaye who rejoined his old club City stars in mid-season after terminating his contract with FKF-PL side Nakumatt FC, opened the month with the only important goal in their 1-0 win over KCB in a relegation battle that was their turning point.
He followed that with another winner against Ushuru FC the following week at Nairobi City Stadium in a 1-0 victory before playing a vital role in their final match of the campaign where they drew 1-1 with Sony Sugar to secure their place at 2016 season.
He finished the outing as second top scorer for City Stars with four goals behind Gambian Sanneh Ebrima who notched 11 times.
Bagaye won the award ahead of Gor Mahia sensational striker, Michael Olunga and Bandari’s David King’atua to take home Sh50, 000 (USD 489.162), a 42-inch LG Smart TV and a trophy engraved with his name.
The panel of seven selectors drawn from various media houses in the country had a hard time arriving for the winner after Bagaye and Olunga tied on 16 points each while King’atua garnered 10.
It forced the panel to go for the tie breaker, the first since its inception in March where Bagaye amassed four votes against Olunga’s three to bag the accolade in a close contest.
Bagaye became the third foreign based player to clinch the award after Gor’s duo of Burundian Karim Nizigiyimana and Ugandan born former Rwandan international Meddie Kagere.
Other nominees who made the shortlist are City Stars’ Ebrimah and AFC Leopards midfielder Bernard Mang’oli.
City Stars won two, drew once and lost once in the month of October to finish the season 14th on 28 points.