Nyasa Big Bullets painted Comesa Hall in Blantyre red on Thursday night as they dominated TNM Super League awards following a successful 2015/16 season in which they successfully defended the title.
Striker Chiukepo Msowoya was the pinnacle of glory for the People’s Team as he won the Best Player of the season and Golden Boot accolades valued at K300 000 (about $436) and K125 000 (about $181) respectively.
Bullets left back Yamikani Fodya received K100 000 (about $145) after being named the best defender. The club was also given the Most Disciplined Supporters award.
That was not all. The people’s team also received K300 000 for winning the first round and a similar amount for being the best managed team.
Bullets team manager Rahim Ishmael said they deserved the awards because they were the best team.
He said the awards would motivate the teams and players to do well next season.
In other awards, Civo United’s Nelson Kangunje was named best midfielder while Red Lions’ striker Innocent Bokosi shared the Golden Boot accolade with Chiukepo. They scored 14 goals apiece.
The Most Improved Player award went to Be Forward Wanderers’ right back Stanley Sanudi while Blue Eagles’ John Saka was crowned goalkeeper of the season. Both received K100 000 each.
For the first time ever, the referees were also recognised for a job well done and Duncan Lengani was named the best centre referee while Bernadetta Kwimbira was named the best assistant referee.
In team category awards, Wanderers and Mafco received K400 000 (about $581) each for being the most improved teams while Azam Tigers, Civo and Fisd Wizards pocketed K266 000 (about $386) each for winning the fair play awards.
Apart from receiving K4 million for securing third place, Blue Eagles pocketed the K100 000 best technical panel prize.
TNM commercial director Dan Makata expressed satisfaction with the way the league was run.
“As a result of the professionalism professed by the managers of the league and clubs, we have been able to unearth talent and provide an occupation to our boys.
“The 2015 Super League season was phenomenal, it has to be emphasised. We are [also] very pleased with supporters from all teams. They behaved largely well in spite of a few pockets of hooliganism here and there,” said Makata who also committed continued sponsorship.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Minister of Sports and Culture Grace Chiumia asked Super League players to be desciplined.
“It shames me to hear that some players misbehave to the point of being arrested for picking up fights at drinking joints. Let us learn to be desciplined,” she appealed.
Football Association of Malawi ( FAM ) president Walter Nyamilandu vowed to ensure that the Super League is run professionally and that players’ welfare will be a priority.
He reiterated the need to introduce club licensing which he said will ensure that there is accountability and transparency in managing club resources.
Through the licensing initiative, clubs that have well-laid structures such as audited accounts will be the only ones accredited to compete in the top flight.
Super League of Malawi (Sulom) president Innocent Bottomani also described the just-ended season as thrilling and thanked TNM for being with the flagship football league for a decade.
In media awards, Nation Publications Limited’s (NPL) Joy Ndovi and Bobby Kabango won the best columnist and photojournalist accolades respectively, whereas Times Group’s Peter Kanjere and Nyasa Times’ Jerome Kadewere were named best print and online reporters respectively.
Joy Radio’s Peter Fote and Times Group’s Lusayo Kanyika were named best television presenter and cameraman respectively while Frank Kandu and Patrick Simango of Malawi Broadcasting Corporation’s (MBC) won the best commentator and presenter accolades. n