The 2017-2018 Awards season is underway and the nominees have been announced for the Coach of the Month and Player of the Month in the Men’s First and Second Division respectively. The Women’s Leagues are in the early stages and the nominees for those categories will be announced in the coming weeks.
The awards recognise the excellent performances from those coaching and playing in the domestic leagues and is intended to motivate and reward those for their hard work. The nominees are placed on a shortlist, with recommendations given from the Coaches’ Association and the Players’ Association. The winners are chosen by a panel with each category receiving a cash prize, certificate and celebration drink. The monthly awards contribute to the seasonal awards whereby each nominee is allocated points based on their final position (From 1st to 3rd place). The points collected over the course of the season is tallied up to provide the final shortlist for the Coach of the Season and Player of the Season for each division.
Any player or coach that receives a red card during the month is automatically disqualified from being eligible to receive the award.
The Nominees for the GFF First Division Coach of the Month
Sulayman Kuyateh, Gamtel
Has made a very encouraging start to life in new surroundings, having left Brikama United where he was coach for six seasons, Kuyateh has hit the ground running with his new club. Appointed in the summer, with instructions to establish Gamtel as a force in Gambian football once again, Kuyateh has led the team to an unbeaten start and was leading the standings after matchday 4. A league title challenge would be more than welcome for the telecom giants, especially considering their poor season in 2016/2017.
Omar Touray, Banjul Utd
A very bright start for the newly promoted Second Division champions, who began the season in very fine form with two consecutive wins. However, their form has dipped slightly but considering that they are a newly promoted team, Touray deserves credit for leading the team to second place after 4 games. The team has been built on a family spirit and cohesion and these are some of the key ingredients that Touray continues to bring in order to establish Banjul United in the top flight.
Jane Joof, Fortune FC
A solid start for another newly promoted team, Joof is no stranger to the top flight, having coached Samger for a number of years. His new charges seem intent on making a strong impression in the top division following their promotion last season. The team has started the season very well and will look to continue this form and keep catching any established teams who want to take them lightly. With Joof’s credentials, opposition teams will do well to do their homework before facing his team in the upcoming games this season.
The Nominees for the GFF First Division Player of the Month
Ousman Joof, Marimoo FC – is the heartbeat of the Marimoo team, is a constant goal threat and has provided leadership and courage to his team whenever he’s out on the pitch. Can pop up with a goal at any point and is a menace to opposition defenders.
Ensa Keita, Fortune FC – one of many talented youngsters in the team who has shone brightly with his intricate play and skills, has also provided key goals and assists, always wanting the ball and looking to dictate play.
Abdoulie Sarr, Banjul Utd – has tormented and mesmerised opposition defenders with his close control and silky play and has also delivered quality at set-pieces, he has also provided goals and assists for his team and the youngster is set for a very bright future.
Modou Sarr, Gamtel – established player of the league that has always been in the limelight, making important contributions and providing inspirational performances for his team-mates to follow.
The Nominees for the GFF Second Division Coach of the Month
Ebrima Bojang, Brufut Utd
The coach will be under no illusion that promotion is the minimum requirement from the ambitious club. Brufut have made a fine start in their quest for an automatic promotion place and have set a marker for the rest of the season. Bojang is the third coach in three seasons and the Brufut fans will be hoping that he will have the magic formula to get their club in the big time next season. They top the standings after a productive month and will look to continue this early season form to meet their targets.
Foday Bah – Wallidan
The most successful club in Gambian football history is steadily become a force once again. Anyone that has seen a match involving Wallidan will now that the team are taking their promotion adventure very seriously and the coach has assembled a strong squad with plenty of talent. Having suffered an opening day defeat, they continued to climb the table and the month featured several come from behind victories, a sure sign of a team that is well-drilled.
Sulayman H Jallow, Young Africans
Yearly relegation candidates Young Africans have made a strong start to the Second Division season this time around. A club with an established history and plenty of quality players both past and present, Jallow has taken his charges to within the play-off places and at one point during the month they were leading the pack, a stark contrast to their relegation struggles from last season.
*Kebba Sawaneh – Kexx United was in contention for this award but received a red card during the month which ruled him ineligible.
The Nominees for the GFF Second Division Player of the Month
Saikou Camara, Wallidan – midfield dynamo who is capable of unlocking defences with his vision and exquisite passing, has performed wonders in the heart of the midfield for his team.
Alagie Camara, Brufut Utd – captain fantastic who leads by example in every game, showing bravery and determination as well as hunger to win, continues to show that he is one of the finest defenders in the country despite playing in the second tier.
Jerreh Marong, Kexx United – key forward player who has delivered goals and assists in a fine start to the campaign and who has shown a knack for clever touches and intelligence on the ball.
Ousman Sunno, Young Africans – composed safe pair of hands in goal, with good confidence on the ball, he showed his nerve to score from the penalty spot against Wallidan in a big game. Has provided the steel in goal for his team to perform above expectations so far.
Bubacarr Jammeh, BK Milan – makes the shortlist despite only making two appearances, with his second being a devastating hat-trick against Sere Kunda Utd. The two-footed winger has dazzled in his early start to life in league football but will surely give opposition defenders nightmares in the coming matches.
The winners will be announced this coming Friday 15th December.