Baraza is AFC player of the year
By Erick Ochieng’
Veteran striker Mike Barasa is the AFC Leopards 2012 player of the year. Baraza also took home the top scorer’s trophy at the awards ceremony held at a Nairobi hotel on Wednesday night.
The award comes barely three weeks after the striker emerged runners up at the Kenyan Premier League’s Footballer of The Year Awards. Baraza edged teammates Charles Okwemba and Eric Masika to the coveted trophy.
“I dedicate this award to my family, teammates and my coaches for helping me constantly improve on my career. I hope to keep the fire burning and even help AFC to win the league next season,” said Baraza who was top scorer in his team with nine goals this season.
His goal-scoring spree recently earned him a call up at the national team Harambee that reached the Cecafa Senior Challenge final on Saturday in Uganda.
Others awarded at the Ingwe ceremony were Bernard Mangoli (midfielder of the year), Masika (defender of the year) Okwemba (fair play),Jonas Nahimana (dedicated player), Victor
Ochieng’ (most assists) and Martin Imbalambala (Most disciplined).
Others are Elijah Omungala (Steward of the year), Anet Ocharo (female fan of the year), Moris Benjamin (male fan of the year), Mumias Branch (Upcountry branch of the year), Kawangware Branch (Urban Branch of the year) and Josephat Odanga (honorary).
Club chairman Alex Ole Magelo thanked the players for their efforts that had looked promising at the start of the season and eventually reached them in third place in the KPL league behind Gor Mahia and winners Tusker FC.
Pamela Lutta from the sponsors side Mumias Sugar gave out an assurance that the company is still committed to supporting the club next season.
Leopards are in the process of recruiting new players to help them win KPL title next season.Mathare United goalkeeper Martin Musalia is reportedly linked to the team .The club is also intensifying search for Jan Koops replacement as coach with ole Magelo stating that a new coach will be unveiled soon.
Midfielders Mang’oli and Victor Ochieng’ who sustained injuries at the Cecafa has said they have recovered well and are looking forward to commence training with Ingwe soon for the next season.
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