Gor Mahia has more or less set its position in this season’s Kenya Premier League (KPL) as the club is on its way to clinching a fourth consecutive title. The KPL trophy might not be up for grabs anymore but other prizes, mostly individual ones, are up for grabs.
Last season, KPL set apart Ksh 6.75 million for winners of 2018 KPL Awards. In that season, players who had had an outstanding season received not less than Ksh 300,000 in individual rewards. Just about the same amount is set to be given to this season’s outstanding players.
The most fought for prize is the golden boot, awarded to the league’s top scorer. Joint at the top with 16 goals each are Kakamega Homeboyz’s veteran striker Allan Wanga and Sofapaka’s Ugandan attacker Umaru Kasumba. It is well clear that the two have been outstanding and their goals have proven crucial in helping their teams in the campaign.
Last season, the top scorer of the KPL bagged a whopping Ksh 500,000. For an amount anywhere close to that, the top contenders are expected to fight neck to neck till the very end. Apart from Wanga and Kasumba, Ulinzi’s Enosh Ochieng’ is also looming with 15 goals so far in the campaign.
On the bright side, however, the three are on the verge of receiving monetary rewards for their exemplary performances this season. Last season, the 1st runners up in the top scorer category got Ksh 300,000 while the 2nd runners up received Ksh 200,000. They are all almost guaranteed of getting something but that does not mean that any of them has bottled his chance of bagging the half a million.
Other top prizes up for grabs include the Golden Glove, Defender of the year, Midfielder of the year, New player award and the most valuable player award.
For the defender of the year award, the competition is of course expected to be tough but a few defenders stand out. Gor Mahia’s captain Harun Shakava, Mathare FC’s George Owino, Sofapaka’s James Situma and arguably AFC’s captain Robison Kamura.
Shakava and Owino have clearly been outstanding this season with several clean sheets in their pockets already. Situma too has been impactful in helping Batoto ba Mungu get to be among the top clubs fighting for the title.
For Kamura, however, the main reason his name is in this article is his leadership role in helping Ingwe resurge. Ingwe had started the season on a low and were even threatened of relegation at some point. Kamura’s leadership played a huge part in the resurgence and his performance on the pitch too has been outstanding after Leopards came back to winning ways.
Midfielder of the year favourites include Kariobangi Sharks’ Sven Yidah, Gor Mahia’s Francis Kahata and Gor Mahia’s Sheffik Batambuze.
Goalies that are probably expected to battle for the golden glove are Bandari’s Farouk Sikhalo and Gor Mahia’s Boniface Oluoch.
The most prestigious individual award is the most valuable player. A few candidates have stood out but the most likely to bag the Ksh 1 million is Gor Mahia’s Francis Kahata.