Four players and four head coaches have been shortlisted for the April player and manager awards respectively in the Nigeria Professional Football League by the League Bloggers Awards (LBA).
The four to vie for the player’s award are Lobi Stars goalkeeper Olufemi Kayode, Junior Lokosa of Kano Pillars, Emeka Ogbugh of Rivers United and Kwara United’s Stephen Alfred. Stanley Eguma of Rivers United, Hamza Abara of Niger Tornadoes, Gbenga Ogunbote of Enugu Rangers and Solomon Ogbeide of Lobi Stars are in the running for the manager’s prize.
Kayode was influential in Lobi’s performance in April with two clean sheets in four matches as well as eye-catching performances at Abia Warriors and Sunshine Stars where the NPFL leaders secured a point each. The Lobi stopper also saved a Sikiru Alimi penalty at Sunshine Stars to help his side avoid defeat in Akure on Matchday 19. The league’s leading scorer Lokosa scored four times in April — two against FC Ifeanyiubah and two against Heartland. Both matches were at home.
Rivers United striker Ogbugh netted thrice in April. He scored a goal each against Heartland, Katsina United and Nasarawa United while Alfred also helped himself to three goals for Kwara United in April. He scored in the games against Sunshine Stars, Enyimba and Go Round. Abara and Eguma led Tornadoes and Rivers United respectively to earn 10 points in the month under review. The former achieved the 10-point haul with four games, two less than than his Rivers United counterpart. Abara’s team were also unbeaten in April.
Lobi under Ogbeide’s charge took eight points from the four games they played — winning two and drawing two to finish undefeated. Ogunbote guided seven-time NPFL champions to two wins, three draws and a defeat to bring their points total for April to nine. The winners for the April awards will be announced next week.