Football Awards – Some Surprises

With barely three days left before the MTC Namibia Premier League (NPL) annual prize giving awards ceremony takes place, the selectors have raised eyebrows with the surprise omission of some deserving would-be candidates for the various categories.

The conspicuous absence of Tura Magic’s mercurial midfielder Alhassan Kalusha from the nominee list in the golden ball or players’ player award categories leaves a lot to be desired while African Stars players have been overlooked in what many a neutral football fan would interpret and rightly so, as a sign of retribution – some kind of the outdated philosophy of an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth.

Orlando Pirates utility defender Brian Gurirab has been shortlisted in the category for the golden ball award alongside Black Africa’s free-scoring midfielder Awillo Stephanus and Blue Waters Balack Somaeb, who is also guaranteed the N$30 000 for the golden boot award (17 goals). The latter is also shortlisted for the players’ player award. Despite putting in some solid defensive play during the just ended season, Gurirab has been strangely overlooked by national selectors for his much-anticipated return to the Brave Warriors setup. In the coaching department, Blue Waters Paulus ‘Wire’ Shipanga and Bobby Samaria (Tigers) are notable absentees from the shortlisted nominees despite leading their respective teams with distinction with limited budgets. Shortlisted nominees for the MTC Premiership 201314 season individual awards: MTC Premiership Top goal scorer of the season (N$15 000) Hendrick Somaeb – Blue Waters MTC Premiership player of the season (N$30 000)

1 Brian Gurirab – Orlando Pirates 2 Awilo Stephanus – Black Africa

3 Balack Somaeb – Blue Waters MTC Premiership players’ player of the season (N$ 20 000)

1 Protash Kabwe – Tigers

2 Awilo Stephanus – Black Africa 3 Balack Somaeb – Blue Waters MTC Premiership coach of the season (N$20 000)

1 Timo Tjongarero – Tura Magic 2 Woody Jacobs – African Stars 3 Brian Isaacs – Black Africa MTC Premiership referee of the season (N$10 000)

1 Jonas Shongedi – Oshana Region

2 Martin Ndara – Kavango Region

3 Reinhold Malima – Khomas Region

MTC Premiership assistant referee of the season (N$5 000)

1 Christof Vries – Karas Region

2 John Maseka – Kavango Region

3 Mathew Kanyanga – Khomas Region

Source : New Era