SIMBA trio, Emmanuel Okwi, John Bocco and Erasto Nyoni have been shortlisted for the Mainland Premier League Player of the Year award for the 2017/18 season.
Their brilliance in Simba’s outstanding league campaign has been recognised by the Mainland Premier League Awards Committee.
The trio, who played a pivotal role towards helping their team to clinch last season’s title, will now compete for the prestigious award during the gala night to be held at Mlimani City in Dar es Salaam on June 23rd this year.
Ugandan import striker Okwi finished as the top goal scorer of the league with 21 goals to his name whereas his compatriot Bocco netted 14 goals hence the two contributed 35 goals for the club.
The partnership of Okwi and Bocco at Simba’s front line was crucial for the team to emerge champions as they were not goal shy.
Likewise, versatile Nyoni who tactically play as a defender also propelled much for this side to clinch the silverware last season. Due to his mobility, Nyoni was able to overlap, provide assists and even scoring goals by himself.
He was a hero during the Dar es Salaam derby as he scored the lone goal of the encounter to enable the Reds pocket vital three points against their traditional rivals Young Africans.
According to the official statement released yesterday by the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF), Information and Communication Officer, Clifford Ndimbo, the ultimate winner will be picked through voting to involve captains of all topflight teams, sports editors and coaches of all premier league clubs.
Ndimbo said a total of 16 awards in various categories will be given on the day even though winners of some of them are already known like Champions of the league, second, third and fourth placed winners including the top goal scorer.
Adding, Ndimbo revealed that procedures to select three players to contest for the Award of the Best Player (U-20) also known as Ismail Khalfan Award are underway since most of the players who are derived from the teams which compete in the top flight league are taking part in the U-20 Uhai Cup unfolding in Dodoma hence when the necessary procedures are over, the names of the shortlisted players will be made public.
However, other awards eagerly waited to be given on the day are the Disciplined team which will be competed by Kagera Sugar, Simba and Mtibwa Sugar, while the Emerging Player Award will be contested by Shaaban Idd Chilunda, Yahya Zayd (Azam) and Habib Kiyombo (Mbao FC).
The category of Best Assistant Referee Award is being contested by Helen Mdima, Mohammed Mkono and Ferdinand Chacha, while Best Referee contestants are Elly Sasii, Jonesia Rukyaa and Hans Mabena.
The Best Goalkeeper Award will consist Aron Kalambo (Tanzania Prisons), Aishi Manula (Simba) and Razack Abalora (Azam), while the Best Coach award has attracted Abdallah Mohamed (Tanzania Prisons), Zuberi Katwila (Mtibwa Sugar) and Pierre Lanchantre (Simba).
Other Awards on the day are Disciplined Player, Best Goal Award list has Seif Karihe (Lipuli FC) and Shaaban Idd Chilunda (Azam) who has netted two goals.
Meanwhile, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has announced that Somalian referees will be in charge of the CAF Confederation Cup Group D encounter between Mainland envoys Young Africans and Kenya’s Gor Mahia at the Moi Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi on July 18th this year.
Ndimbo said the match referee will be Hassan Mohamed Hagi and he will be assisted by Hamza Hagi Abdi and Suleiman Bashir Abdi, while Nur Muhidin Mohamed will be the fourth official.
Gabonese Jan Olivier Mbera will be the match assessor, while the match commissioner will be Simphiwe Brian Xaba from South Africa.
He said officials from Mauritius will be in charge of the return leg to be played at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on July 29th this year.
The central referee will be Ahmed Imtehaz Heeralall and he will be assisted by Cauvelet Louis Ralph Fabian and Akhtar Nawaz Rossaye, while Ganesh Chutooree will be the fourth official. Match commissioner will be Zambian Patrick Kangwa, while match assessor will be Louzaye Rene Daniel from Congo.