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Nzigiyimana wins player of the month award

Gor Mahia defender Karim Nzigiyimana is the SportPesa/Sports Journalists Association of Kenya June player of the month.

The Burundian full back was voted the most impressive player for the four assists he provided in K’Ogalo’s three matches against Chemelil Sugar, Thika United and Tusker last month.

For his efforts, Nzigiyimana received a 45-inch flat screen TV, a personalized trophy and Sh 50, 000 cash prize.

Nzigiyimana was awarded at the club’s office at the Nyayo National Stadium shortly before the team departed for Dar es Salaam, where they will compete in the Kagame Cecafa Club Championships.

The players admitted that the award came as a surprise to him.

“I did not expect this at all. This is the first time in my career that I have received a personal reward. I have always thought that individual awards are a preserve of strikers,” Nzigiyimana said.

Gor Mahia defender Karim Nzigiyimana receives the SportPesa/SJAK player of the month trophy from Kester Muhunji of SportPesa.
Gor Mahia defender Karim Nzigiyimana receives the SportPesa/SJAK player of the month trophy from Kester Muhunji of SportPesa.

“This will now motivate me to work even harder so that I can also get recognized in the end of year awards,” he added.

Karim, who joined K’Ogalo at the beginning of the season from Rwandan side Rayon Sports, fended off competition from his team mate Michael Olunga, Mathare United midfielder Eric Johanna, Ulinzi Stars striker Kevin Amwayi and Allan Katerrega from Ushuru.

K’OGALO UPBEAT

Nzigiyimana becomes the fourth winner of the award after Ali Hassan Abondo (Gor), John Makwatta (Ulinzi Stars) and goalkeeper Gabriel Andika (Western Stima) won the March, April and May awards respectively.

Meanwhile, an upbeat Gor Mahia left the country for Dar es Salaam, Tanzania with a promise to their fans of an improved performance at the Cecafa Club Championships.

The team’s flight departed Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 2:45pm and touched down in Dar at 5pm.

Team captain Musa Mohammed told journalists and fans who saw them off at JKIA that the team is determined to prove a point at the regional tournament.

“We are determined to reach the finals. There has been alot of talk discrediting our performance in the league, now we have an opportunity to prove the skeptics wrong,” Mohammed said.

Assistant coach Frank Ouna was however modest on the team’s expectations, saying the team will be up against strong opponents.

“Every team in the tournament is a champion in their own countries, and so it will not be easy. In our first game, for example, we be against hosts Yanga, who will have overwhelming home advantage. We shall however give our best and hope for good results,” Ouna told Daily Nation Sport.

The team’s travelling party includes 23 players and 10 members of the technical bench. Gor Mahia is in Group A alongside hosts Yanga, Al Khartoum (Sudan), KMKM (Uganda), and Djibouti’s Telecom. Their opening match will be on Saturday against Yanga.