NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 18 – Gor Mahia forward Meddie Kagere was the big winner of the night picking the ultimate prize after being crowned the Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) 2017 Footballer of the Year in a glittering ceremony held at the National Museum of Kenya in Nairobi on Monday night.
Local football royalty gathered at the black-tie gala to bow to their new king who takes over from last year’s winner Kenneth Muguna having played a pivotal role in steering K’Ogalo to their record 16th title.
“This award comes through hard work and hard work pains. I didn’t do this alone, with the help of team-mates, office and staff, I get this as the best player,” an emotional Kagere said as he picked the award, presented by Sports Principal Secretary Kirimi Kaberia.
Kagere had a brilliant season with K’Ogalo in his second return, directly contributing to 18 goals, scoring 14 and assisting four. He was the first runner up to Michael Olunga in 2015 when the two partnered to deliver the title unbeaten
Kagere won the accolade ahead of team-mate George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo and Golden Boot winner Masoud Juma from Kariobangi Sharks.
The Golden Glove went to Kariobangi Sharks goal keeper, John Oyemba who managed 16 clean sheets, beating Kakamega Homeboyz custodian David Juma (15) to second place while Posta Rangers’ Patrick Matasi (15) was third.
Gor Mahia captain Musa Mohammed was named the Defender of the Year, ahead of Posta Rangers’ Jockins Atudo while Godfrey Walusimbi made the podium by finishing third.
In the Midfielder of the Year category, Blackberry waded off stiff competition from Nzoia Sugar FC’s Lawrence Juma who was runners-up while Michael Madoya from Zoo FC settled for third.
Masoud won the Gooden Boot after notching 17 goals this season, Kagere took the runners-up award after scoring 14 goals while the third position saw Jacques Tuyisenge (Gor Mahia), Kepha Aswani (Nakumatt FC) and Stephen Waruru (Ulinzi Stars) share the accolade after netting 13 goals each.
Zoo FC striker, Nicholas Kipkirui was named the New Young Player ahead of AFC Leopards’ Vincent Oburu who was second while Nzoia Sugar FC defender Brian Otieno was second runners-up.
After transforming Sofapaka FC to finishing second in the KPL, Ugandan tactician Sam Ssimbwa scooped the Coach of the Year Award ahead of Kariobangi Sharks’ William Muluya who was runners-up after guiding the newly promoted team to third place in the league.
Mike Mururi was second runners-up after guiding Kakamega Homeboyz to fifth position in the league.
All nominees received Sh300,000 courtesy of the National Sports Fund with all winners taking home a 49-inch smart television, runners-up were awarded a fridge while third place finishers went home with a microwave all courtesy of sponsors LG Electronics.
- John Oyemba – Kariobangi Sharks
- David Juma- Kakamega Homeboyz
- Patrick Matasi – Posta Rangers
- Musa Mohammed – Gor Mahia
- Jockins Atudo- Posta Rangers
- Godfrey Walusimbi – Gor Mahia
- George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo – Gor Mahia
- Lawrence Juma- Nzoia Sugar FC
- Michael Madoya – Zoo FC
New Young Player
- Nicholas Kipkirui –Zoo FC
- Vincent Oburu –AFC Leopards
- Brian Otieno – Nzoia Sugar FC
- Masoud Juma – Kariobangi Sharks
- Meddie Kagere – Gor Mahia
- Kepha Aswani – Nakumatt FC
- Jacques Tuyisenge – Gor Mahia
- Stephen Waruru- Ulinzi Stars