Sofapaka custodian Justin Ndikumana has been feted as the March 2019 Player of the Month by the Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) making him only the second goalkeeper to win the award since its inception five years ago.
Ndikumana, whyo was handed his gong on Tuesday 17 April at the team’s training base, in Eastleigh, Nairobi, trounced Bethwel Warambo, Enosh Ochieng and Eric Kapaito after heroic goalkeeping for Sofapaka.
Three clean sheets
The Burundian international kept three clean sheets in four matches played in March and saved a crucial penalty that secured vital points for his title-chasing club.
“I have been praying that I become the winner this month because I played well and everybody was talking about me. I’m glad I caught the panel’s eye and so I can look forward to better days,” Ndikumana declared.
“Such awards boost my confidence and the team at large. I want to thank the entire squad, not just the defense that helped me keep the clean sheets. I feel like I can face any opponent and stand tall in goal and prevent them from scoring,” he added.
Gabriel Andika became the first goalkeeper to be crowned way back in 2015.
Ndikumana was nominated alongside Allan Wanga of Kakamega Homeboyz, Vincent Oburu of AFC Leopards, Enosh Ochieng of Ulinzi Stars, Bethwel Warambo of KCB and Eric Kapaito of Kariobangi Sharks. Wanga and Oburu were dropped from the final shortlist that was subjected to a vote.
The Sofapaka man garnered 27 points to clearly finish ahead of Warambo and Ochieng who tied on 21 points. Kapaito finished fourth on ten points.
His fete crowned a perfect month for Sofapaka who have now won both player and coaches’ awards. John Baraza was voted March Fidelity Insurance Coach of the Month having guided his club to more victories over other league rivals.