Charles Thuku and Fred Likuyani @PeopleSports11
Sofapaka’s Sam Ssimbwa and William Muluya of Kariobangi Sharks are among the SportPesa Premier League (SPL) coaches nominated for the best tacticians’ category at the Sports Journalists of Kenya (SJAK) awards ceremony to be held later this month.
Ssimbwa and Muluya who have been with their clubs for a little bit longer as compared to others will battle it out for the awards with Mike Mururi (Kakamega Homeboyz), Bernard Mwalala (Nzoia Sugar) and Sammy Omollo (Posta Rangers). Ssimbwa is credited with turning round the fortunes of Sofapaka who were on the brink of elimination from the 2016 KPL before making a massive improvement in 2017 by winding up second.
The gala will have eight categories including Golden Glove, Defender Of The Year, Midfielder Of The Year, Golden Boot, Most Valuable Player, Young/New Player, Coach Of The Year and a special category dubbed SJAK Award.
SJAK in conjunction with partners will hold an end-of-year football gala on December 18 at Jacaranda Hotel in Westlands to award the top performers. South Korean manufactures LG Electronics will take a central role in the awards as the title sponsors.
In the meantime, Gor Mahia and Harambee Stars captain Musa Mohammed and 2017 SPL Golden Boot winner Masoud Juma of Kariobangi are among 37 SPL players who have been nominated for the awards. Mohammed will vie for the best defender awards while Masoud will be out to clinch the Most Valuable Player (MVP) gong.
The honours will go towards high achievers in various departments in the just concluded SPL which was won by Gor. Those nominated in the goalkeeping department are Patrick Matasi of Posta Rangers, David Juma (Kakamega Homeboyz), Jeff Oyemba (Kariobangi Sharkas), Mathias Kigonya (Sofapaka) and Boniface Oluoch (Gor Mahia).