Western Stima’s midfield sensation Kenneth Muguna is the 2016 Kenyan Premier League Player of the Year.
The youthful midfielder on Tuesday beat a strong opposition to win the Most Valuable Player award in the Footballer of the Year awards held at the Safari Park Hotel.
Muguna beat Gor Mahia and Harambee Stars defender Eric “Marcelo” Ouma, who had also been nominated in his first season in the top flight, Tusker duo Humphrey Mieno and David Okello, as well as Ulinzi Stars striker John Mark Makwatta to the top award.
Still uncapped by the national team, Muguna becomes one of the first player to win the award on his first season in the top flight, and succeeds IF Djugardens striker Michael Olunga who won the award last year.
For his reward, Muguna walked away with the Sh1 million cash prize as well as two 43-inch flat screen televisions courtesy of partners LG.
Makwatta emerged the top scorer with 15 goals while Okello and Mieno led Tusker to the league title. Ouma's impressive performances for club and country saw him become a fan favourite in his maiden season in the top flight.
Before being named MVP, Muguna had been named Midfielder of the Year, beating Mathare United’s Whyvonne Isuza and lanky Tusker midfielder Humphrey Mieno.
He also bagged the runner’s up gong in the Young Player of the Year category, behind Ouma.
Muguna led Western Stima to sixth place finish in the league this term, their best ever position. He was also awarded the Player of Month award for August.
Posta Rangers goalkeeper Patrick Matasi won the Golden Glove award ahead of last year’s winner Bonface Oluoch (Gor Mahia) and Tusker’s David Okello who came in third.
Posta Rangers hard-tackling defender Joackins Atudo received the Defender of the Year award after beating K’Ogalo’s Musa Mohammed and veteran Noah Abich - who inspired Sofapaka survival in the top flight from the jaws of relegation.
Tusker’s Paul Nkata, who led the brewers to the league title and GOtv Shield this term, was named Coach of the Year beating Marcelo Ferreira (Gor Mahia), Henry Omino (Western Stima), Francis Baraza (Chemelil Sugar) and Zedekiah Otieno (Posta Ranger). Ferreira and Baraza clinched first and second runners up gongs respectively.
"Today is not a day for speeches but to receive trophies," said the Ugandan coach, drawing laughter from the guests at Safari Park.
As was expected, Ulinzi Stars striker John Makwatta received his Golden Boot while Kepha Aswani (AFC Leopards) and Wycliffe Ochomo (Muhoroni Youth) received their trophies for emerging second and third respectively in the top scorer' race.
The winners were selected in two sessions of a three-stage voting system that involved coaches from all the KPL teams, their captains and sports journalists.
All winners of the twelve categories went home with a 43 inch LG television set while runners up won LG G10 phones.
Third place finishers were awarded microwaves in addition to the various cash prizes as the awards stature improved for the second year running.
Most Valuable Player
Team Manager of the Year
George Opondo (Tusker)
David Mwangi (Ulinzi Stars)
Pascal Ochieng (Posta Rangers)
Assistant Referee of the Year
Mary Ann Njoroge
Referee of the Year
Patrick Matasi (Posta Rangers)
Boniface Oluoch (Gor Mahia)
David Okello (Tusker)
Defender of the Year
Joackins Atudo (Posta Rangers)
Musa Mohamed (Gor Mahia)
Noah Abich (Sofapaka)
Midfielder of the Year
Kenneth Muguna (Western Stima)
Whyvonne Isuza (Mathare United)
Humphrey Mieno (Tusker)
Fairplay Player of the Year
Ali Bai (Kakamega Homeboyz)
Jared Obwoge (Chemelil)
Amos Asembeka (Sony Sugar)
New Player of the Year
Eric Ouma (Gor Mahia)
Kenneth Muguna (Western Stima)
Cavin Odongo (Posta Rangers)
Coach of the Year
Paul Nkata (Tusker)
Marcelo Ferreira (Gor Mahia)
Francis Baraza (Chemelil Sugar)
John Makwatta (Ulinzi Stars)
Kepha Aswani (AFC Leopards)
Wycliffe Ochomo (Muhoroni Youth)