Maikaba, Bata make LBA award shortlists
Wikki Tourists FC of Bauchi gaffer, Abdu Maikaba and El-Kanemi of Maiduguri winger, Hussaini Bata were yesterday shortlisted for the June awards in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) - League Bloggers Awards (LBA).
Besides Bata, other players in the running for the monthly award are Shedrack Oghali of Warri Wolves, Abdulrahman Bashir of Nasarawa United and Wikki Tourists goalkeeper, Emeka Nwabulu.
Oghali’s return for Wolves in the month under review saw him help the Warri club get a point at Kano Pillars in a 2-2 draw in which he scored both goals. Before then, he netted the equalizer that helped Wolves avoid defeat at home in a 2-2 draw with Heartland having gone two goals down.
Nwabulu has impressed between the sticks for title-chasing Wikki this term and in June, he kept four clean sheets in five appearances. He was a major reason the Tourists kept two clean sheets on the road at Heartland and Ikorodu United in which they garnered four points.
El-Kanemi youngster, Bata, scored three important goals at home for his team against Enugu Rangers, Warri Wolves and Abia Warriors to earn himself a place among the NPFL-LBA shortlists.
Former ABS man, Bashir, has got himself back to scoring ways this term. His goals in home wins against Enyimba, FC IfeanyiUbah and Niger Tornadoes put him in the frame for the June award.
Coaches Gbenga Ogunbote (3SC), Solomon Ogbeide (Sunshine Stars) and Kabiru Dogo (Nasarawa United) are the other soccer tacticians in line for the manager’s award for June.
Ogbeide is the only man to have guided his side to an unbeaten streak in June in the NPFL this season. His team, Sunshine Stars, picked eight points out of 12 including a point in the 3-3 draw at Akwa United after clawing their way back from 1-3.
Relegation-threatened Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) under Ogunbote in June got 10 points out of 15, losing just a game out of five to Lobi Stars while they became the first side to claim full points at the Agege Stadium in Lagos against MFM FC.
Maikaba masterminded Wikki’s good show in June from the dugout as they took 13 points out of 18 in six games including a 1-0 win at Ikorodu United and a scoreless draw at Heartland. Wikki also defeated storied oppositions in Enyimba and Kano Pillars in the month under review.
Dogo got among the nominees for June after Nasarawa United’s wins over Oriental teams, Enyimba and FC IfeanyiUbah as well as Niger Tornadoes.
But they suffered a 0-2 loss at MFM FC in between their decent run in June.
The winners for both NPFL-LBA categories for June will be announced next week.