As you may already know, last Friday Ondupara’s live-wire striker and skipper Muhammad Shaban Jagason was voted as the Airtel-FUFA player of the year 2016 beating veteran Goalkeeper Denis Onyango to the gong.
Shaban who received his award at a colourful ceremony held at Speke Resort Munyonyo was overwhelmingly voted for by his ardent fans and fans of his club Onduparaka FC from Arua with a soccer-mad following. He also made it to the FUFA team of the year.
“I am grateful to the fans for voting me and thank God for this award. I did not expect to win but here I am now holding the award which will inspire me to work even harder” Shaban told Chano8 in Munyonyo after receiving his award and keys for his prize – a Lexus car.
Although his win has since generated a lot of debate both in the mainstream and social media, Shaban was out rightly a deserving winner considering the method of selection was through public voting which his fans followed while the so called favourite nominees got fewer votes since their fans either took things for granted and never voted or were simply out numbered. The heroes welcome he got from Westnile yesterday also proves how popular he is.
But first things first, Shaban got on the nomination list on merit considering the talented teenager almost single headedly took the team from Westnile to the Azam Premier league netting 13 goals in the FUFA Big League despite starting the league mid way through.
He followed the excellent scoring form by finishing joint top scorer in the Uganda Cup with 7 goals after guiding his team to the finals at the first attempt beating giants like Sports Club Villa in the process. He was voted the MVP of the Uganda Cup and best player of the Big League.
So far the youngster is also joint top scorer in the Azam Uganda Premier league with 8 goals and has 4 to his name for the Uganda Cranes in the regional tour.
So it is very clear he was not on the list by accident although Onyango who is also nominated in the 2016 CAF Awards in the category of African Footballer of the Year based on the African continent looked like the favourite considering his achievements were bigger especially on the continental stage. Other nominees like Farooq Miya (Standard Liege – Belgium) and Erisa Ssekisambu(Vipers) and Joseph Ochaya (KCCA)were also strong contenders
The Mamelodi Sundowns and Uganda Cranes goalkeeper apart from winning the 2016 CAF Champions League medal with Mamelodi Sundowns also guided the side to their 10th league title and the Ned Bank Cup on top on being named the 2015/2016 Premier Soccer League goalkeeper of the year.
He is the current Uganda Sports Press Association Male Footballer of the year and also a rock in goal for the Cranes as Uganda qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time since 1978 after playing all the six group matches and keeping four clean sheets in the process.
He later conceded defeat and congratulated Shaban for the win. Saying although he is disappointed for not winning, Shaban who celebrated the achievement with a winning goal against The Saints on Saturday, deserved the accolade not only because his fans voted for him, but because he is also a young talented striker doing great things.
List of Winners
- Best Male Player:Shaban Mohammad (Onduparaka)
- Best Female Female:Hasifa Nassuuna (Kawempe Muslim S.S)
- Coach of the Year:Mike Mutebi(KCCA)
- Beach Soccer Player of the year:Somoka Roch (Nkumba Select)
- Fair Play Award:Vipers Sports Club
- Referee of the year:Ivan Kintu Bayige (FIFA Beach Soccer Referee)
- FUFA Presidential Award:Ali Tomusange (Retired FIFA Referee who officiated at the 2002 World Cup)
- Fans favorite player of the year (Ugandan):Farooq Miya (Standard Liege – Belgium)
- Fans favorite player of the year (Non Ugandan):Muhammed Salah (AS Roma)
- FUFA team of the year: Mathias Muwanga (GK), Denis Okot, Joseph Ochaya, Musa Walangalira, Halid Lwaliwa, Ibrahim Kayiwa, Muzamir Mutyaba, Keziron Kizito, Robert Sentongo, Shaban Mohammad and Erisa Ssekisambu