Abich voted best Player

So­fa­paka de­fender beats strong op­po­si­tion to scoop SportPesa Foot­baller of the Month award for Oc­to­ber

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports - BY CONSOLATA MAKOKHA

@Con­nie_Makokha

So­fa­paka’s de­fender Noah Abich is the Oc­to­ber Sportpesa Foot­baller of the Month Award win­ner.

The play-maker drew his relegation-rid­den side closer to sur­vival in the premier­ship, net­ting the stag­ger­ing win­ner goal in “Ba­toto Ba Mungu’s” 2-1 vic­tory over Muhoroni Youth. A week later, the il­lus­tri­ous but un­sung set piece mae­stro, pro­vided two as­sists from splen­did free kicks dur­ing So­fa­paka’s 3-2 win over for­mer cel­e­brated cham­pi­ons AFC Leop­ards.

The award will no doubt in­ject some drive into So­fa­paka’s sur­vival strug­gle as they take their last stride in the league that will de­ter­mine their fate as they face Thika United this Satur­day.

Abich, 30, who linked up with the 2009 league win­ners in June, re­ceived the gong ac­com­pa­nied with a gi­ant LG tele­vi­sion and Sh100,000 cash money. His solo per­for­mance in Oc­to­ber eclipsed every­one in the league, lead­ing to a land­slide vic­tory in the polls for ‘Player of the Month’ award.

With his team tee­ter­ing on the brink of relegation, Abich, known for be­ing eco­nom­i­cal with his words is­sued a ral­ly­ing call to his mates ahead of a league tie that could end So­fa­paka’s eight-year premier­ship stint. “I’m so happy to be recog­nised but there is no time to cel­e­brate as we (So­fa­paka) are all anx­iously look­ing for­ward to the week­end fix­tures. Our fate hangs in bal­ance and I hope this award mo­ti­vate the squad to do well, and hope­fully get a favourable re­sult in the other de­ter­min­ing game,” said Abich at the club’s train­ing base at Eastleigh High School.

“I’ve had a not so im­pres­sive year, hav­ing to sit out for the first half, then join­ing a club deep in relegation but to­gether, we have united for a com­mon cause which is to stay up and through the af­flic­tion we have faced as a club, we are hope­ful of play­ing in top flight next year. The first leg was not im­pres­sive but we just want to do well in the re­main­ing game and let God take care of the rest,” he added.

Abich’s Oc­to­ber per­for­mance caps the best run for So­fa­paka in 2016 as the club’s standin coach John Baraza also made it into the nom­i­nee’s list for Coach of the Month Award. Their 0-1 loss to Sony, how­ever, ham­pered his suc­cess chances but Abich stood out to emerge the best among play­ers in the league.

Abich made the three-man short­list along­side Tusker de­fen­sive mid­fielder Hashim Sem­pala who has im­mensely helped the brew­ers plug a leaky back-line and the ro­bustly sculp­tured Gor Mahia for­ward Enoch Ag­wanda.

Other nom­i­nees were Allan David Okelo (Tusker), Jared (Chemelil),So­fa­paka cus­to­dian Kigonya and Eric ‘ Ouma (Gor). Wanga, Ob­woge Mathias

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