BUNGOMA, Kenya, Apr 25 – On his debut in the Kenyan Premier League, Nzoia Sugar defender Brian Otieno claimed the Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) Player of the Month award for March to become the first recipient this season.
No player scored more than Otieno’s two goals in March, where the first two matches of the season were played as the Bungoma based side launched their Premier League debut on a high, collecting four points out of a possible six.
“I’m very excited at being awarded. It’s the first time i’m getting something like this and frankly i’m overjoyed. I dedicate it to my teammates without whom i would not have won it. Our results have not been the best since then but hopefully we shall get back to winning ways.” Otieno offered.
Otieno netted twice against defending champions Tusker FC in a 5-2 victory, a result that took the Bernard Mwalala side top of the standings after round one of the matches.
In their second match, Otieno was influential though he did not find the back of the net in ensuring the newbies finish the month unbeaten after holding Mathare United to a goalless draw at their Sudi Stadium backyard.
To win the award that was accompanied by Sh100, 000 and a 49-inch LG television, Otieno garnered 17 points to beat Gor Mahia utility player Godfrey Walusimbi who received 14 points while his club-mate midfielder Kenneth Muguna was third on 11 points.
The decision was reached after a seven-member SJAK Commission went to the ballot where Otieno emerged winner.
The going has been anything but easy for the newbies but the team hopes to fight elation from Otieno’s triumph in their bid to stay up.
“I’m very excited at being awarded. It’s the first time i’m getting something like this and frankly i’m overjoyed. I dedicate it to my teammates without whom i would not have won it. Our results have not been the best since then but hopefully we shall get back to winning ways.” Otieno offered in his laid back demeanor
Nzoia assistant coach Vincent Sifuma heaped praises on the young striker saying he is destined to greater things. “He is new to the league but he’s already made a mark He is capable of developing into a better player who can achieve a lot. I hope the award stirs up the rest so they put more effort.” Mwalala said.