Eric Kapaito was the toast of the evening after being crowned the Most Valuable Player in the Football Kenya Federation [FKF] Premier League Awards ceremony staged on Tuesday.
Kapaito who netted 24 goals for Kariobangi Sharks also doubled up the MVP award with the Golden Boot crown. This is the second time that Kapaito has done the golden boot and MVP double, having clinched the two awards in the 2017-2018 season.
The 25-year old also becomes the first player to win the award twice.
“I really feel delighted and honoured to be on this stage to pick this award for a second time. I thank my teammates, coaches and the Sharks management for the support and I promise that I will continue working hard,” Kapaito stated.
He added; “My family has been really supportive and they are the reason I have been here. I was just hoping for an injury free season and I knew if I was fit I would score goals.”
Meanwhile, league champions Tusker FC were the toast of the evening winning most of the individual awards.
Skipper Eugene Asike was named the defender of the year, having led a mean defense that conceded the second least number of goals in the league. He played in 30 league matches, scoring two goals and helping the team through 10 clean sheets.
“It has been a tough season and I wouldn’t have made it without the support of my teammates and coaches. I am delighted to have won this and hopefully this is a motivation for the season to come,” Asike stated.
The defender beat Bidco United’s David Kalama while KCB’s Nashon Alembi was third.
Coach Robert Matano won the coach of the year gong, his second, having also won the same accolade in 2009 with Sofapaka.
“I really feel privileged to be here to win this award for the second time. I want to thank my wife for being there to support me, critic me and tell me when I am wrong. I dedicate this to her,” Matano who was accompanied by his third wife Carol Walusaga said.
Departing youngster Henry Meja meanwhile won the Young Player of the Year award after his stellar campaign where he scored 10 goals for the league champions. He is set to leave the team for Swedish top tier side AIK.
The Golden Glove went to Ulinzi Stars custodian James Saruni who kept 12 clean sheets while the duo of KCB FC shot-stopper Joseph Okoth and Nairobi City Stars’ Steve Njunge shared the runners-up award fir keeping 11 clean sheets.
Sofapaka’s Lawrence Juma bossed the midfield category pipping Anthony Kimani of Nairobi City Stars who was voted as the runners-up and third placed Jackson Macharia of Tusker FC.
Juma netted 14 times for Batoto ba Mungu in his debut season for them, having joined from Gor Mahia.
The Fair Play team category was scooped by Kariobangi Sharks as Tusker FC and KCB FC took second and third placed respectively.
The brewers were named as the Digital team of the Year for their stellar work on their social media.
2020/21 FKF Premier League Awards Winners
Erick Kapaito – Kariobangi Sharks
James Saruni – Ulinzi Stars – WINNER
Joseph Okoth – KCB FC -Runners-up
Steve Njunge – Nairobi City Stars – Runners-up
Defender of the Year
Eugene Asike – Tusker FC – WINNER
David Kalama – Bidco United – Runners-up
Nashon Alembi – KCB FC – Third
Midfielder of the Year
Lawrence Juma – Sofapaka FC – WINNER
Anthony Kimani – Nairobi City Star – Runners-up
Jackson Macharia – Tusker FC – Third
Team Manager of the Year
George Opondo – Tusker FC
Referee of the year
Assistant referee of the year