Rwanda internationals Djihad Bizimana and Muhadjiri Hakizimana and Burundian striker Jean Claude Ndarusanze make the shortlist for the 2017/2018 Ferwafa Player of the Year award.
The winner will be announced in a ceremony at Kigali Marriot Hotel on Thursday, along with the coach of the year, goalkeeper of the year, youngster of the year as well as the top player in each position.
The shortlist, which was released on Tuesday, was chosen by a 48-member jury of 16 coaches from all topflight league teams and their captains, in addition to 16 journalists picked by the Rwanda Sports Journalists Association.
The three shortlisted players – and coaches – in each category received the highest points.
Who will replace Kwizera as the Player of the Year?
The award, which was claimed by former Rayon Sports’ Burundian midfielder Pierrot Kwizera in the last two years, recognises the best player in the league.
Last season, Amavubi forward Hakizimana scored 13 goals to inspire APR to their record-extending 17th league title and was a key part of Ljubomir Petrovic’s side that reached the Peace Cup semi-finals before being seen off by eventual winners Mukura.
Currently plying his trade with Belgian side Waasland-Beveren, Bizimana also played a crucial role as APR romped to the Azam Rwanda Premier League title in June, dethroning rivals Rayon Sports.
Burundian import Ndarusanze had a stellar season with AS Kigali and was the league’s top scorer with 15 goals as he helped the City of Kigali-sponsored side to finish second with 61 points, five behind APR.
Three goalkeepers shortlisted for the Goalkeeper of the Year award include Mukura VS’s Omar Rwabugiri, Yves Kimenyi (APR) and former AS Kigali’s Bate Shamiru, who has since crossed to SC Kiyovu.
In the U21 promising stars category, the trio of nominees comprises of Rayon Sports and Amavubi midfielder Kevin Muhire and APR duo of centre-back Prince Buregeya and striker Lague Byiringiro.
The nominees for the Best Coach award are APR’s Serbian coach Ljubomir Petrovic, Burundian Christian Francis Haringingo of Mukura, and Rwandan Emmanuel Ruremesha who – in August – joined Musanze after guiding Etincelles to a fourth place league finish.
The Revelation Coach of the Year candidates again include; Ruremesha and Haringingo, who are joined by Police FC’s Zambian tactician Joel Albert Mphande.
During the 2018 Ferwafa football awards gala tonight, AS Kigali striker Ndarusanze will also be recognised with an award as last season’s top scorer.
Player of the Year
1. Djihad Bizimana (APR/ Waasland-Beveren)
2. Jean Claude Ndarusanze (AS Kigali)
3. Muhadjiri Hakizimana (APR)
Goalkeeper of the Year
1. Omar Rwabugiri (Mukura)
2. Yves Kimenyi (APR)
3. Bate Shamiru (AS Kigali/Kiyovu)
Youngster (U21) of the Year
1. Prince Buregeya (APR)
2. Kevin Muhire (Rayon Sports)
3. Lague Byiringiro (APR)
Coach of the Year
1. Ljubomir Petrovic (APR)
2. Francis Haringingo (Mukura)
3. Emmanuel Ruremesha (Musanze)
1. Emmanuel Ruremesha (Musanze)
2. Francis Haringingo (Mukura)
3. Albert Joel Mphande (Police)