Eric Kapaito could walk away with Sh1.9 million when the SportPesa Premier League (SPL) Awards are held on October 25 as he is nominated in four categories, among them the golden boot gong which he is assured of. In his debut season in the top flight, the 27-year-old former FC Talanta striker scored 16 goals, one more than Gor Mahia’s Jacques Tuyisenge and Elvis Rupia, who left Nzoi Sugar for Zambia’s Power Dynamo, in July.
Assured of the Sh500,000 cash award for his 16 goals, Kapaito is also in the running for the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award that comes with a Sh1 million windfall as well as Fair Play Player and New Player gong that which fetches Sh200,000 each for the winner.
For the big one (MVP), Kapaito is up against holder Mike Madoya of Zoo FC, Bandari’s Felly Mulumba and team-mate Faruk Shikhalo with Mathare’s Cliff Nyakeya completing the list. Madoya is also nominated in the Fair Play and Midfielder of The Year categories. Of the four categories he won in last season’s awards, it is only the new player award that the diminutive midfield will not be defending.
Contrary to previous winners of the MVP award who seemed to be a shadow of their former selves in the subsequent seasons, Madoya beat that ‘curse’ to score 14 goals, doubling last season’s tally to finish fourth in the top scorers chart.
Meanwhile, Bandari’s improved performance from last season’s 10th to second has seen their coach Bernard Mwalala nominated for the Coach of the Year gong and he will fight it out with SPL’s winning coach Dylan Kerr of Gor Mahia, Tusker’s Robert Matano, Danstan Nyaudo of Ulinzi Stars and John Baraza of Sofapaka.
However, only two players from the Coast-based side, Mulumba and Shikhalo have made it to the nominations list. In addition to the MVP nomination, the former landed in two more categories, Defender of the Year and Fair play Player, while the shot stopper is also in the running for the Golden Glove award.
Contrary to the norm where the Golden Glove Award goes to the goalkeeper with most clean sheets, there are five nominees for this category including Shikhalo, Patrick Matasi (Posta Rangers), Kelvin Omondi (Sony Sugar), Sofapaka’s Mathias Kigonya and AFC’s Ezekiel Owade.