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Europe is Olunga’s next destination, says coach Nuttall

By DAVID KWALIMWA

Gor Mahia coach Frank Nuttall says he will be “happy” to lose the Kenyan Premier League’s best player Micheal Olunga to a European club.

Nuttall and Olunga have enjoyed a successful season in the league, whose crowning moment was on Wednesday night when the two were voted the Best Coach of the Year and the Most Valuable Player respectively, during the SJAK/KPL player of the year awards held at a Nairobi hotel.

“I congratulate Olunga. He has been of great value and importance to the team. He has improved almost in each game without getting injured,” Nuttall told Nairobi News during the gala night.

“It is true there is a lot of interest in him and we could lose him next season. But I will be happy if he went to a European club,” the coach added.

Olunga has been linked to a host of clubs this season, including South African clubs Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits, Raja Casablanca (Morocco), Simba SC Tanzania and Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia.

Speaking after winning the overall gong that came with a Sh1 million prize, Olunga said: “I thank my mum, I thank coach Robert Matano for giving me a chance at Tusker, I thank everyone but above all, I thank God.”

Gor Mahia’s Karim Nziyigimana, Mathare United’s Eric Johanna and Tusker’s Jesse Were was voted as the best defender, the best midfielder and the Golden Boot winner respectively.

The Award Winners: 

Most Valuable Player – Michael Olunga (Gor Mahia)

Golden Boot: 

1. Jesse Were (Tusker )

2. Michael Olunga (Gor Mahia)

3. John Mark Makwata (Ulinzi Stars)

Midfielder of the Year: 

1. Eric Johanna (Mathare United)

2.Khalid Aucho (Gor Mahia)

3.Bernard Mang’oli (AFC Leopards)

Defender of the Year: 

1. Karim Nzigiyimana (Gor Mahia)

2. Musa Mohamed (Gor Mahia)

3. Geoffrey Kokoyo (Ulinzi Stars)

Golden Glove Award (Goalkeeper of the Year): 

1. Boniface Oluoch (Gor Mahia)

2. Farouk Shikalo

3. Jairus Adira (Chemelil Sugar)

Coach of the Year:

1. Frank Nuttall (Gor Mahia)

2. Robert Matano (Ulinzi Stars)

3. Twahir Muhidin (Bandari)

Team Manager of the Year:

1. David Mwangi (Ulinzi Stars) and Jolawi Abondo (Gor Mahia) – tied

2. Moses Nyalik (Western Stima) and Nevile Pudo (City Stars) – tied

New Young Player of the Year:

1. George Mandela (Muhoroni Youth)

2. Ebrima Sanneh (City Stars)

3. Alfred Ndonye (Mathare United)

Fair Play Player of the Year:

1. John Baraza (Sofapaka)

2. Vincent Nyaberi (Thika United)

3. Alfred Onyango (Tusker FC)

Fair Play Team of the Year:

1. Western Stima

2. Mathare United

3. Sony Sugar

Most Improved Centre Referee: 

1. Raymond Ochieng

2. Judy Muhonja

3. Micheal Iluve

Most Improved Assistant referee: 

1. Stephen Adeya

2. Judith Wamoyo

3. Beth Wambui

Chairman’s Award: 

Phoebe Amayunzu and Elizabeth Maragu