NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 16 – Chemelil Sugar midfielder Hillary Echesa has been crowned the July Kenyan Premier League player of the month after putting up eye catching performances for the sugar millers, aiding them to burst into the top five of the standings.
The 30-year old midfielder scored three vital goals for the Francis Baraza-coached side, putting into the net winners against AFC Leopards and Sofapaka as well as a last gasp equaliser against Tusker FC at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.
“I’ll keep going until it becomes impossible for me to compete with the young boys physically. Right now I feel the same as I was years ago. I love playing football and I’m not exiting the scene anytime soon.” A visibly excited Echesa said after being presented with his award at the club’s training ground in Chemelil.
Echesa amassed 20 points in the final vote by the Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) football committee, beating opposition from City Stars forward Ezekiel Odera, Ulinzi hit man John Makwata and AFC Leopards custodian Ian Otieno who got 11, nine and 10 points respectively.
The midfielder who has had stints with Ulinzi Stars, Tusker and Sofapaka locally as well as Tanzania’s Yanga, Rwanda’s Rayon Sport and Malaysia’s Royal Police has been praised by his coach Francis Baraza who described him as a shining light for the club’s youthful players.
“He has been very influential and carried the team along. When he’s on top of his game everyone steps up and we achieve good results and when he’s not having a good game you it affecting our entire unit. Such is his influence in this team,” said Baraza.
Echesa pockets Sh100,000 and a 43-inch LG Television. His team will also get an additional Sh50,000.
He becomes the fifth recipient of the award this season with previous winners being Timothy Otieno of Posta Rangers, Sharif Mohamed of Bandari, Wycliffe Ochomo of Muhoroni Youth and Khalid Aucho, formerly of Gor Mahia.