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Why exclusion from KPL award offended Sserunkuma

Ugandan international striker Dan Sserunkuma was “shattered” on learning he hadn’t been nominated for this year’s Kenya Premier League Footballer of the Year Award (Foya), Nairobi News can reveal.

The Gor Mahia hitman has been one of the most consistent performers in the KPL over the last two seasons, playing a key role in K’Ogalo’s back-to-back league titles (2013 and 2014).

Having outscored everyone last season, Sserunkuma was primed to bag his second Best Player’s award in three season but was surprisingly overlooked by the nominations panel during last week’s Foya gala, something that greatly disappointed the 2012 top honours winner.

“Danny couldn’t understand why he had been left out. He was shocked and shattered. And that is one of the reasons why he is rumoured to be seeking greener pastures outside the country,” a source close to the player said.

RECEIVED OFFERS

The selection process of the year’s award has been subjected to much criticism from the public amid reports of favoritism.

Sserunkuma, whose contract with Gor Mahia expires on December 2, 2014, is said to have received several offers from Tanzania, DRC, South Africa and Europe, and is expected to quit Gor Mahia on a free transfer.

According to the latest edition of Tanzania’s bi-weekly sports newspaper, Mwanaspoti, Sserunkuma is close to agreeing a deal with Simba.

However, Gor Mahia secretary general Chris Omondi on Saturday yesterday said he is optimistic the club’s top scorer last season will commit to K’Ogalo ahead of the new season.

“Danny (Sserunkuma) is open. He has shown his willingness to be here. Its only his agent who is trying hard to find a new club for him,” Omondi told Nairobi News.

“Sserunkuma is in the country. He was at the club dinner organized in honour of the team last night (Friday). What you are hearing is just hot air,” he added.

CONTRACT TALKS

During the dinner, the club gave the playing unit a Sh 1 million bonus for winning the league title. The cash will be shared by the 28 players.

The club has also opened contract talks with midfielder Geoffrey ‘Baba’ Kizito, defender David ‘Calabar’ Owino and 2010 KPL Best Player George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo.

Calabar’s contract runs out in June 2015 while Blackberry and Kizito will be free agents at the end of December.

Kizito joined the league champions from Vietnamese side Xuan Thanh Saigon on a one-year deal pocketing Sh 1.2 million in sign-on fee and was the pivot upon which the team’s midfield revolved in the just concluded season.

Omondi however said that with no sponsors, “affordability”, on the part of the players, will be an important factor in offering new deals.