• And just like he did in 2018, the lethal striker scooped the league’s Most valuable Player (MVP) and capped it off with the ‘Golden Boot’ after emerging at the apex of the scorers’ chart with 24 goals.
• “It would have been impossible to attain such success without the amazing support I received from my teammates and coaches,” said Kapaito.
Kariobangi Sharks captain Eric Kapaito is the 2020/2021 Kenyan Premier League player of the season.
And just like he did in 2018, the lethal striker scooped the league’s Most valuable Player (MVP) and capped it off with the ‘Golden Boot’ after emerging at the apex of the scorers’ chart with 24 goals.
Kapaito had set a target of 17 goals in his quest to see Sharks win a maiden domestic title. His ambition for the title fell through but he was rewarded with 24 goals which set him well ahead of AFC Leopards’ Elvis Rupia (18) and Sofapaka midfielder Lawrence Juma (15).
“I feel so happy. I had set a target of 17 goals this season and I managed 24, far beyond the 16 that I netted in 2017,” Kapaito told the Star.
His splendid goal-poaching accolades saw Harambee Stars coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee call him the provisional squad a week ago.
Kapaito is quick to point out that a lot of determination and hard work has gone into showering his flower to blossom.
“It would have been impossible to attain such success without the amazing support I received from my teammates and coaches,” he said.
“Their fighting spirit enabled us to perform exceptionally well and attain a far much better position than we did in the previous season.” So lethal has Kapaito been this season that a good number of Kenyan goalkeepers had to contend with goosebumps at the slightest mention of his name.
Their trepidations were justified. The striker has been instilling awe and fear in equal measure and his enviable work rate on the pitch.
Born on December 24, 1995, at Maili Tisa in Namanga, Kapaito attended Engapoli Primary School in Namanga, where he fired his teammates to the Kajiado district title.
He later joined Kuluani Secondary School briefly before transferring to Laiser Hill. His goal-poaching prowess fired Laiser Hill to the 2018 national school ball games title, effectively securing them a slot at the East African school games.
He marked his entry into club football with a bang, scoring 21 goals for Eastleigh Youth in the Nairobi Provincial League. It wasn’t long before National Super League side FC Talanta came chasing after his signature.
Just a year later, an opportunity to make a giant leap to the big stage was placed right at his feet when Kariobangi Sharks dangled a deal right before him.
Kapaito says he has been drawing a lot of inspiration from former Kashiwa Reysol and Harambee Stars striker Michael Olunga, who only recently accepted a bid believed to be in the region of Sh930 million from Qatar Star League champions Al-Duhail SC in exchange for his services. Internationally, he admires Swedish international Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who turns out as a striker for Serie ‘A’ side AC Milan.
He would, however, wish to feature in the English Premier league in the near future although he did not disclose his preferred club.
The Young Player of the Year Award went to Tusker’s Henry Meja.
“I thank Tusker for mentoring me,” said Meja.
Sofapaka’s Lawrence Juma bagged the midfielder if the year award and said: “I wish to thank my teammates because it has been a tough season for us. I’ll continue working hard.”
Towering Tusker and Harambee Stars centre back Eugene Asike ran away with defender of the year award.
“I want to thank my teammates at Tusker. Football is a team sport and without them, I wouldn’t have pulled this off,” said Asike.
Midfielder of the year:
1. Lawrence Juma (Sofapaka)
2. Kevin Kimani (Wazito)
3. Jackson Macharia (Tusker)
Defender of the year:
1. Eugene Asike (Tusker)
2. Nashon Alembi (KCB)
3. David Kalama (Bidco)
Coach of the year:
1. Robert Matano (Tusker)
2. Zedekiah Otieno (KCB)
3. Andre Casambungo (Bandari)
Young player of the year:
1. Henry Meja (Tusker)
2. Lawrence Luvanda (Vihiga Utd)
3. Sylvester Owino (Kakamega Homeboyz)
Assistant referee of the year
Referee of the year
Digital Team of the Year
Fair play award
Team Manager of the Year
George Opondo (Tusker)
Young Player of the year