• The three impressed SJAK’s football commission, who whittled down the nominations from six to three in each category with the winners set to be unveiled on Monday.
• Besides eyeing the MVP, Kahata will be jostling for the midfielder of the year award.
Two Gor Mahia players will battle it out with the reigning Kenya Premier League top scorer for the 2018-2019 Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK)/LG Most Valuable Player.
The two are former midfield maestro Francis Kahata and battle-hardened defender Joash Onyango, who will face stiff competition for the MVP from Ulinzi Stars’ forward Enosh Ochieng.
The three impressed SJAK’s football commission, who whittled down the nominations from six to three in each category with the winners set to be unveiled on Monday at National Museums of Kenya.
The awards which return after a season-long hiatus will seek to fete the outstanding players for the past season. Players and coaches who excel will make share the Sh4 million prize kitty in addition to the products provided by LG Electronics.
The MVP award, which was last won by Gor Mahia midfielder Kenneth Muguna in 2017, will see Kahata who has since decamped to Tanzanian champions Simba muscle out with Onyango, whose contribution saw the club leak in few goals during the season. On the other hand, Ochieng who netted 20 league goals will hope that his goal-scoring prowess will earn him his second award after the Golden Boot.
Besides eyeing the MVP, Kahata will be jostling for the midfielder of the year award which also has Bandari’s wing wizard Abdallah Hassan who netted six times and former Mathare United midfielder Cliff Nyekeya who emerged the club’s top scorer with 14 goals.
At the same time, Onyango will be seeking to lay hands on the defender of the year award, where he is nominated alongside Bandari centre-half Brian Otieno and former Sony Sugar right back Kelvin Wesonga.
New Bandari goalkeeper Justin Ndikumana will battle it out with his predecessor at the club, Farouk Shikalo for the Golden Glove. The duo, who had 13 clean sheets, will be challenged by Western Stima custodian Samuel Odhiambo.
Former Gor coach Hassan Oktay will be challenged by Bandari’s Bernard Mwalala and Sofapaka’s John Baraza for the top award in the category. Meanwhile, newbies and rookies Jackson Dwang (Nzoia Sugar), David Majak (Tusker) and Daniel Sakari will fight for the Young Player of the season.
Most Valuable Player
1. Francis Kahata
2. Enosh Ochieng
3. Joash Onyango
1.Justin Ndikumana - Sofapaka
2.Faruk Shikhalo - Bandari
3. Samuel Odhiambo
Defender of the Year
1. Brian Otieno - Bandari
2. Kelvin Wesonga - Sony Sugar
3. Joash Onyango - Gor Mahia
Midfielder of the Year
1. Francis Kahata - Gor Mahia
2. Abdalla Hassan - Bandari
3. Cliff Nyakeya - Mathare United
1. Enosh Ochieng - Ulinzi Stars
2. Allan Wanga - Kakamega Homeboyz
3. Umaru Kasumba - Sofapaka
Coach of the Year
1. John Baraza - Sofapaka
2. Bernard Mwalala - Bandari
3. Hassan Oktay - Gor Mahia
New Young Player
1.Jackson Dwang - Nzoia Sugar
2. Daniel Sakari - Kakamega Homeboyz
3. David Majak - Tusker