NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 1 – Youngsters Eric ‘Marcelo’ Ouma from Gor Mahia and Western Stima’s Kenneth Muguna are among five players nominated for the Most Valuable Player gong in the 2016 KPL Footballer of the Year Awards scheduled to be held December 13.
Ulinzi Stars forward John Mark Makwatta, Tusker FC duo of midfielder Humphrey Mieno and goal keeper David Okello complete the shortlist of the MVP where the winner will receive Sh1mn and 43-inch smart television from electronics firm LG.
Speaking when announcing the nominees of the 12 categories on Thursday, KPL Operations, Liaison and logistics officer Frank Okoth said the process was done fairly by the 16 coaches from the Kenyan Premier League, captains and Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) Football Commission members.
Ouma, who joined the top flight league this season straight from Kakamega High School, has been impressive with Gor Mahia where he managed to cement his starting position at left-back and benching Rwandan Abuoba Sibomana.
His excellent display of overlapping the left wing and bring in deadly pin-point crosses also saw him earn a call up in the national football team Harambee Stars.
It was also the first season for Muguna in the top tier league and he has impressed as he is the focal point of Western Stima’s midfield, helping them finish sixth in the 2016 season.
His sterling performance saw him named the August SportPesa SJAK Player of the Month for August.
Muguna is also in the shortlist for New Player, Okello in Goalkeeper of the year, while Mieno will also be seeking to win the midfielder of the year category.
Makwatta leads the Golden Boot Award after scoring 15 goals followed by Wycliffe Ochomo who netted 12 while third place is AFC Leopards forward Kepha Aswani.
Gor custodian Boniface Oluoch, who won last year’s Golden Glove, will be seeking to win it for the second year in a row just as he did in 2011 and 2012 while at Tusker FC.
Oluoch will battle it out with Patrick Matasi from Posta Rangers, Tusker’s Okello, James Saruni of Ulinzi Stars and Kakamega Homeboyz’s Michael Wanyika.
Defender of the year has Sofapaka’s Noah Abich who helped Batoto Ba Mungu survive relegation, Jockins Atudo (Posta Rangers), Musa Mohammed (Gor Mahia), George ‘Wise’ Owino (Mathare United) and Tusker captain James Situma.
Mieno will battle it out with Mathare United’s Wyvonne Isuza, Chemelil’s Hillary Echesa and Gor’s Francis Kahata in the top prize of the Midfielder of the Year.
Having led Tusker FC to a double this season, winning the KPL title and GOtv Shield, Ugandan tactician Paul Nkata has been nominated for the Coach of the Year award alongside Gor’s Jose ‘Zemaria’ Marecelo, Chemelil’s Francis Baraza, Western Stima’s Henry Omino and Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno who was with Posta Rangers before he was relieved of his duties.
Winners in each category will receive cash prizes and 43-in smart television from LG.
Full list of nominees
Most Valuable Player
Erick Ouma (Gor Mahia), John Makwatta (Ulinzi Stars), David Okello (Tusker FC), Kenneth Muguna (Western Stima), Humphrey Mieno (Tusker FC).
Goalkeeper of the Year
Patrick Matasi (Posta Rangers), Boniface Oluoch (Gor Mahia), David Okello (Tusker FC), James Saruni (Ulinzi Stars), Michael Wanyika (Kakamega Homeboyz).
Defender of the Year
George Owino (Mathare United), Noah Abich (Sofapaka), Musa Mohammed (Gor Mahia), Joackins Atudo (Posta Rangers), James Situma (Tusker FC)
Midfielder of the Year
Kenneth Muguna (Western Stima), Wyvonne Isuza (Mathare United), Humphrey Mieno (Tusker FC), Francis Kahata (Gor Mahia), Hillary Echesa (Chemelil Sugar)
John Makwatta (Ulinzi Stars), Wycliffe Ochomo (Muhoroni Youth), Kepha Aswani (AFC Leopards)
New player of the Year
Erick Marcelo Ouma (Gor Mahia), Kenneth Muguna (Western Stima), Cavin Odongo (Posta Rangers), Jacques Tuyisenge (Gor Mahia), Oliver Maloba (City Stars)
Coach of the Year
Paul Nkata (Tusker FC), Francis Baraza (Chemelil Sugar), Henry Omino (Western Stima), Jose Ferreira (Gor Mahia), Zedekiah Otieno (Posta Rangers)
Fair Play Team of the Year
Sony Sugar, Mathare United, Gor Mahia, Kakamega Homeboyz, Western Stima
Fair Play Player of the Year
Jared Obwoge (Chemelil Sugar), Francis Kahata (Gor Mahia), Amos Asembeka (Sony Sugar), Ali Bhai (Kakamega Homeboyz)
Team Manager of the Year
Moses Jobita (Western Stima), George Opondo (Tusker FC), Pascal Ochieng’ (Posta Rangers), David Mwangi (Ulinzi Stars), Hillary Ouma (Chemelil Sugar)
Centre referee of the Year
Anthony Ogwayo, Davies Omweno, David Mulongo, Andrew Juma, Badir Yassin
Assistant referee of the year
John Alando, Gilbert Cheruiyot, Steven Oduor, Peter Sabatia, Mary Njoroge