NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 25 – Kariobangi Sharks forward and league top scorer Eric Kapaito has been named the 2018 Kenyan Premier League player of the year in an awards ceremony conducted on Thursday evening at the Kenya School of Government in Lower Kabete.
Kapaito banged in 16 goals this season and his form for the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Shield champions earned him the biggest award of the night.
It was a successful evening for the former Kariobangi Sharks man who also scooped the new player of the year award.
He stepped up to receive the award from SportPesa CEO Ronald Karauri tears rolling on his face as he was congratulated by FKF boss Nick Mwendwa, also owner of Kariobangi Sharks.
Meanwhile, youthful Mathare United winger Cliff Nyakaya picked up the midfielder of the year award in only his second season playing in top flight.
Nyakeya who made his way into the Mathare United from the Gor Mahia youth ranks was emotional as he picked his award, thanking who he termed as his second family, former Gor Secretary General Chris Omondi.
“When I was in Gor youth I was about to give p on football but he (Chris) came to my rescue. I had no place to stay in Nairobi, and by then Gor Youth wasn’t paying. I was really struggling and he took me as his son, helped me and now here I am. To me, this award is a stepping stone,” Nyakeya, almost overcome by emotion, balancing tears in his eyes said.
Felly Mulumba who has had a brilliant season skippering Bandari to second place in the Kenyan League was pleased with the award beating the Gor Mahia duo of Harun Shakava and Joash Onyango.
The stylish Congolese defender stunned the crowd by making his acceptance speech in French saying; “I want to thank everyone who has played a role in me being here from my time at Sofapaka. From my teammates at Bandari who have been brilliant, journalists and the federation, I say thank you.”
Meanwhile, Faruk Shikhalo showed that ditching Posta Rangers for Bandari at the beginning of the season was the best decision as he scooped the keeper of the year award, beating Harambee Stars keeper Patrick Matasi who was second.
“I dedicate this award to my mum and my family Bandari. The defense has done a brilliant job as well to help me win this award,” Shikhalo noted.
Dylan Kerr was meanwhile awarded coach of the year for his outstanding run with the club, winning the title with six matches to go and losing only four games the whole season.
Kerr received the award in absentia as he is already at his home in the United Kingdom. Ulinzi’s Dunstan Nyaudo whose side finished fourth was second while Sofapaka’s John Baraza was third.
KPL safety and Security boss GMT Otieno meanwhile received the chairman’s award.
Full list of winners
Most Valuable Player
Coach of the year
1.Dylan Kerr (Gor Mahia)
2.Dunstan Nyaudo (Ulinzi Stars)
3.John Baraza (Sofapaka)
Goalkeeper of the year
- Faruk Shikhalo (Bandari FC)
2.Patrick Matasi (Tusker FC)
3.Kevin Omondi (Sony Sugar)
Defender of the year
1.Felly Mulumba (Bandari)
2.Titus Achesa (Posta Rangers)
3.Oliver Rutto (Ulinzi Stars)
Midfielder of the year
1.Cliff Nyakeya (Mathare
2.Elvis Nandwa (Ulinzi Stars)
New player of the year
1.Eric Kapaito (Kariobangi Sharks)
2.Marvin Nabwire (AFC Leopards)
3.Piston Mutamba (Sofapaka FC)
Most improved assistant referee
Most improved centre referee
Team Manager of the year
1.Vincent Okello (Mathare United)
2.Christopher Ouma (Ulinzi Stars)
3.Lazarus Yogo (Zoo Kericho)
Fair play club of the year
Fair play player of the year