The League Bloggers Awards (LBA) on Monday nominated four players and
four coaches to contend for the Nigeria Professional Football League
(NPFL) Player and Manager for the month of March.
Shortlisted in the players’ category are Abia Warriors striker Samson
Obi, Austin Ogunye of Lobi Stars and the Wikki Tourists pair of Nafiu
Kabuga and Abba Umar.
Obi is named among the shortlist for playing a major role in Abia
Warriors’ fine run in March. The striker scored four times in three of
their four matches in the month under review. The Abia Warriors man
scored in the derby at FC Ifeanyiubah that ended 1-1 and followed up
with two goals against Wikki Tourists and one at Akwa United. His
goals earned Abia Warriors five of their eight points.
Ogunye had his most productive period of the season in March as he was
directly involved in four of Lobi’s six goals. The ex-MFM man scored
twice in Lobi’s dramatic 3-2 win over Rivers United and provided an
assist in same game. His other goal came in the 1-2 defeat at Nasarawa
No other player provided the most assists in March than Wikki’s Umar.
He provided two in his team’s 3-0 win over Rivers United and got
another assist when they saw off El-Kanemi Warriors 3-0. He also
helped himself to a goal in the El-Kanemi fixture.
Kabuga benefited from two of Umar’s assists when he netted the
season’s first hat-trick against Rivers United. The former Kano
Pillars forward also got involved as a goal provider in Wikki’s win
over El-Kanemi in the northeast derby.
For the manager’s prize Hamza Abara of Niger Tornadoes gets a first
nomination into the monthly award. He will contend with an impressive
field of trainers that include Akwa United’s Abdu Maikaba, Emmanuel
Deutsch of Abia Warriors and Solomon Ogbeide of Lobi Stars.
Abara led Tornadoes to an unbeaten streak in March – defeating
champions Plateau United and Sunshine Stars in home games and playing
draws at Kano Pillars and El-Kanemi while Deutsch also holds similar
streak having led Abia Warriors to an unbeaten sequence as well. Abia
Warriors defeated Kwara United and Wikki at home and got draws at FC
Ifeanyiubah and Akwa United.
Ogbeide, on the other hand guided Lobi to three wins – the most in
March by any team. It included an away win at Heartland as well as
successes against Katsina United and Rivers United but suffered a 2-1
reverse at Nasarawa United.
Akwa United under Maikaba managed two wins at home against Heartland
and Nasarawa United before Abia Warriors took points off them in a 1-1
draw at their Nest of Champions. Maikaba’s men suffered a 1-0 defeat
to table-toppers Lobi in a month they took seven out of 12 points.
The winners for the LBA Player and Manager for March will be announced
later this week.
Samson Obi (Abia Warriors)
Nafiu Kabuga (Wikki Tourists)
Abba Umar (Wikki Tourists)
Austin Ogunye (Lobi Stars)
Hamza Abara (Niger Tornadoes)
Abdu Maikaba (Go Round FC)
Emmanuel Deutsch (Abia Warriors)
Solomon Ogbeide (Lobi Stars)