FORMER Rwanda international and Gor Mahia striker Meddie Kagere expressed delight after he was named the Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) 2017 Footballer of the Year in a ceremony held at the National Museum of Kenya in Nairobi on Monday.
The 31-year-old was crowned the Most Valuable Player in the Kenyan league following his impressive from this season which saw him contribute to 18 goals, netting 14 goals and assisting four for Gor Mahia.
He helped guide his team to the 2017 league title which earned them a place in next year’s CAF Champions League.
“Hard working pains but it pays. I thank my teammates who helped me. I am excited and feel challenged at the same time for this award. I want to laud my teammates and the entire management for the motivation and the chance to be here today,” Kagere said.
He was also awarded Sh300,000 (about Rwf2.4m), a 55-inch television screen courtesy of LG, a return ticket from Skyward Express, a DStv decoder and a gift hamper from Kenya Wine Agency Limited (KWAL).
Kagere was the first runners-up – after his teammate Michael Olunga – in 2015 when the two partnered to lead their club to the title unbeaten.
Juma Masoud won the Golden Boot after scoring 17 goals; Kagere took the runners-up award in this category after scoring 14 goals; while the third position saw another Rwandan, Jacques Tuyisenge, (Gor Mahia), Kepha Aswani (Nakumatt FC) and Stephen Waruru (Ulinzi Stars) share the accolade after netting 13 goals each.
The Golden Glove went to Kariobangi Sharks goalkeeper, John Oyemba, who managed 16 clean sheets, narrowly beating Kakamega Homeboyz custodian David Juma (15 clean sheets) to the prize. Posta Rangers’s goalkeeper Patrick Matasi (15) was named third runners-up..