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Gor, Bandari in SOYA Team of the Year shortlist

Gor Mahia players celebrating with the KPL trophy after winning the 2018/19 season. Photo/SPORTPESA NEWS

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 1 – Record 18-time Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions Gor Mahia have been shortlisted for the Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Awards (SOYA) Male Team of the Year 2019 ahead of the gala to be hosted in Mombasa on January 24.

Gor Mahia, who are a regular nominee, will battle it out with the national men’s basketball team, KCB Rugby Club, Bandari FC and Tennis Beach team.

On their part Gor, successfully defended the KPL title with three matches to go, to win back-to-back title and a record 18th with 75 points when the league ended in May before the news season started in August.

K’Ogalo also became the first Kenyan team to reach the CAF Confederation Cup Quarter finals stage after finishing second in Group D with nine points jointly with Zamalek who had a better goal difference.

To add on the league crown, Gor also won the KPL Super Cup after beating Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Shield winners Bandari 1-0 in the 2019/20 KPL pre-season opener.

Bandari FC players line up with their trophy after clinching the Football Kenya Federation Shield title at the Kasarani Stadium on June 2, 2019. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

For Bandari, they reclaimed the FKF Shield after beating Kariobangi Sharks in the finals before reached the playoff round in the CAF Confederation Cup for the first time ever and will be hoping to win the award at their home tough in Mombasa.

The Mombasa-based side also reached the final of the SportPesa Cup, losing 1-0 to Kariobangi Sharks in the finals.

Other nominated team  is the Morans who will be hoping their exploits this year will give them a high chance of being named the Team of the Year.

The team that reached the final of the inaugural FIBA AfroCan tournament in Bamako, Mali will, however, face stiff competition from other men teams that also did extremely well this year.

Kenya Morans players celebrate after beating Tunisia in the FIVA Afrocan quarter finals in Bamako, Mali on July 25, 2019. PHOTO/FIBA

En-route to the final which they lost 61-82 to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Morans had beaten some of the top sides in the group stages.

Among some of the outstanding results they registered include beating Nigeria 81069 in the group stages, beating Ivory Coast 85-83 in the round of 16 before beating another top side Tunisia 85-83 in the quarter-finals.

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Before going to Mali for the tournament, Morans had made history by beating Egypt in the Zone 5 tournament where they finished top to secure the ticket to play at the FIBA AfroCan tournament.

KCB RFC players celebrate after winning the Christie 7s Main Cup title in Nairobi on September 1, 2019. PHOTO/KRU

KCB RFC who were close to winning the team of the year last year, will be hoping it will be second time lucky for them this year.

Apart from successfully defending the Kenya Cup crown for the third year in a row, where they lost only once, the Curtis Olago coached side also retained the Floodlit tournament for the third year in a row. They also won the National Sevens Series Circuit.

The beach team won bronze at the African Beach Games and was also the first Team to qualify for African Beach Games apart from being the first male beach tennis Team in Kenya.

Apart from Safaricom as the title sponsor, this year’s gala has also been sponsored by the County Government of Mombasa, Kenya Pipeline, Communication Authority of Kenya, New KCC, Lapfund, Kenya Power, UBA Bank, Nairobi Bottlers, Kenya Ports Authority, NHIF, NSSF, Kenya Tourism Board and GOtv.

-Nominees-

  1. Gor Mahia (Football)
  2. Morans (Basketball)
  3. KCB RCF (Rugby)
  4. Tennis Beach team (Tennis)
  5. Bandari FC (Football)

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